The Art & Life Sessions Banner

What is it in real LIFE that inspires the ART onstage?
How does ART relate to, engage with, and resonate with LIFE?

The ART & LIFE SESSIONS is a series of free lively forums about the urgent issues of the day. Engage with some of the most forward-thinking minds of “the concerned citizenry” – including artists, activists, academics and politicians – to exchange views and opinions about the pressing issues of our times.

#01: ONE DIVIDED PEOPLE?

10 JULY / SUNDAY 5.30PM / LOWERCASE CAFÉ

From the controversies stirred up over Adam Lambert’s New Year Countdown appearance and Madonna’s Rebel Heart concert, to the ‘sex objects’ that were removed from a queer-themed exhibition, Singapore’s self-professed ‘moral majority’ appears to have become an increasingly strident force of censorship. Join our panel of artists, activists and advocates as we discuss the ways in which sex and sexuality remain taboos for many Singaporeans, and how we can expand or defend the spaces for its various expressions.

Speakers: Vanessa Ho, Kok Heng Leun, Prashant Somosundram & Tan Tarn How
Moderator: Alfian Sa’at

#02: REGARDFUL OF RACE, LANGUAGE AND RELIGION

17 JULY / SUNDAY 5.30PM / LOWERCASE CAFÉ

In recent years, more and more people have taken to lodging police reports against ‘racially or religiously insensitive’ speech in Singapore. While doing so can protect those who have genuine cause to be offended, it also imposes vague limits on free speech. Can rigid adherence to being ‘politically correct’ become an act of silencing? Is it possible to draw a clear line between the spouting of hate speech and the exercising of free speech? Join our panel of politicians and inter-faith activists as we examine the ways in which public discussions about hot-button issues such as race, language and religion are policed – both by society and by ourselves.

Speakers: Alfian Sa’at, Daniel Goh, Braema Mathi & Mohamed Imran Mohamed Taib
Moderator: Janice Koh

#03: HISTORY, HIS STORY, WHOSE STORY?

24 JULY / SUNDAY 5.30PM / LOWERCASE CAFÉ

Tan Pin Pin’s To Singapore, With Love was banned in Singapore, and the National Arts Council withdrew a publishing grant earlier awarded to Sonny Liew’s The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye. Both works dealt with Singapore’s history in the ’50s and ’60s, and raised questions about the state’s demonisation of left-wing movements and figures. Is history becoming a new contentious terrain? What kind of chilling effect will this have on theatre-makers who explore history in their works? Join our panel of historians, writers and filmmakers as we unpack the official and alternative versions of ‘The Singapore Story’.

Speakers: Sonny Liew, Jason Soo, Tan Pin Pin & Thum Ping Tjin
Moderator: Alfian Sa’at