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District 14: Associates' Rehearsal 2

Updated: Nov 18, 2020

| Documentation by Syarifuddin Sahari |

7:30pm - 9:30pm, Geylang Serai

The associates were invited to split into two groups to carry out the task:

  • Choose one old photo from a book showcasing the history of Geylang.

  • Go around Geylang Market & Food Centre to take 3 photos each and collectively shortlist one.

  • Piece up the two photos (one from the past, one from the present) into one narrative through movement.

The task was to shadow the Gambar workshop held on Saturday, where the youth participants were invited to go around Geylang to take photos based on / with inspiration from the letters written during the Khabar workshop.

(How different will it be if the associates carried out the task before the workshop was held?)

The associates were working towards the Rasa prompt, so perhaps it was to have parallel timelines as both tracts were heading towards the moment of Ubah. It might have also helped those who have yet to conduct their own workshops by experiencing the previous workshop for themselves (as the associates would be having their rehearsals at the same time as the workshops).

The two groups then came together to share their photos and narratives:

- Ismail, Jonit and Valerie:

o Started and ended with food.

o There are now multiple staircases in Geylang Market, compared to their non- existence in the previous 1-storey iterations of the building.

o The food / utensils left at the corner feels / seems like Chinese because of the colour of the bowl.

o The present photo contrasts with the historic photo; emptiness VS crowdedness.

o Many lanes within the market; lanes within a lane, shoppers usually walk closer to the shops compared to the center of the lane.

o One man bending over stood out in the historic photo.

o Ismail shared about his mother’s habit of coming to Geylang (to buy ingredients that could be found in other, nearer markets).

o Empty. Lanes. Habit.

Ismail, Jonit & Valerie’s chosen and taken photos.

- Hasyimah, Syimah and Xiao Jun:

o Chose the space between the top of the stalls and the 2nd level of the Market.

o Rarely seen sight, and from a certain angle, vehicles can be seen moving in between.

o Lines. Curves. Texture.

o Body-nobody.

o Movement at the back, of traffic.

o They recorded a movement response near the empty retail stalls on level 2.

o Shared about a musky, funky smell that was lingering in the air.

o Historic photo displayed the floods that happened frequently in Geylang in the past, with human, water and vehicular (boat) traffic present.

Hasyimah, Syimah and Xiao Jun’s chosen and taken photos.

Ismail then shared about his experience during the Gambar workshop (as he was the facilitator), before the rehearsal ended:

- Participants took photos based on the letters from previous workshop; keywords, embodiment / improvisation.

o 7 photos to string together into a narrative.

- To try utilise the elements of body / movement.

- Shared tips or ideas on how to capture & identify image for better storytelling.

- Embraced the rain as an element to embrace / add on;

o Many images had an additional layer of water after the rain.

o Puddles, reflections, droplets.

- Encouraged the participants to not edit the photos, though some still did, perhaps to better capture / present the essence of their subject.

Sharing about life experiences in a place perhaps devoid of it.


As much as we will attempt to record the process, this journal does not necessarily reflect the artistic direction or intention of the work. This is our interpretation as we experience it with the artists and collaborators.

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