Flow Across Our Ocean: Singapore & South Africa
featuring poems by Edwin Thumboo
dramaturgy by Jeremiah Choy
This booklet commemorates the Opening Ceremony of Spotlight Singapore in Cape Town (16–19 March 2011), an international exchange programme co-organised by Asian Culture Enterprise Singapore (ACES) and The Arts House. The Spotlight programme serves as an arts and economic gateway to emerging markets for Singapore. There are two works here: a new and original poem by Edwin Thumboo and the script for Selamat, a new music-theatre work composed by Iskandar Ismail, directed by Jeremiah Choy and set to a text that features the poetry of Edwin Thumboo. Both these works have their inspiration and origins, either in part or fully, from Spotlight Singapore in Cape Town.
The new work by Edwin Thumboo, “The Indian Ocean” takes off from Thumboo’s long-time fascination with the trade routes between Asia and Africa vis-a-vis the Indian Ocean, the body of water that connects the continent of Africa with Southeast Asia and hence, Singapore. The poem which spans centuries is an epic: just as it draws from the past for the present, its scale foretells the possibilities that lie ahead and the depth which these possibilities hold.
Selamat, on the other hand, frames the existing poetry of Edwin Thumboo within a story that tells of an encounter between a Singaporean man and a South African woman. Here, drawing inspiration from Thumboo’s poems, the creative team for Selamat has adapted some of Thumboo’s well-known poems and created a new context for them.
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Dimension: 150mm x 215mm