Surviving a world on fire

A copy of Eating Chilli Crab in the Anthropocene

Dear Reader,

It’s been five months since I last wrote to you at the start of 2020, and what felt like a lifetime ago. Do you remember how it feels like to be outside, unhindered and free? Are you, like me, imagining the nervous, unbridled rush of affection when we finally do get to meet?

This week, we’re excited to announce pre-orders for Eating Chilli Crab in the Anthropocene—the first book to present the urgency of the climate crisis through a localised lens, examining the intricate ways that Singaporean life and culture are deeply entangled with nonhuman lives, and to put simply—how everything is cause and effect. Among others, the collection of 12 essays discuss the ethics of flying and the pride that is Jewel (are the waterfalls still flowing, for whom and what?); our tenuous relationship with reclaimed land (on whose homes are we stepping on?); our convenient swipe-away of islanders, dismissed based on their GDP contributions (why does this sound familiar?); and the sustainability of this garden city (shall we build even higher seawalls?). For me, working on these essays made me see so clearly how we have often, and for so long, taken more than we have gift.

Critically, we also see how our original plans for the book’s release this June can become a meaningful and hopeful response to the pandemic situation—that shall this fog clear, we can remove the scales from our eyes, and begin to act for the life ahead. The world is on fire, what do we do?

When I see all of you again, I see light and laughter, love and goodness, grace to start over again.


(From May 16, 2020)