Editorial – Issue 10
This 10th issue is released on 22 July, one day after Racial Harmony Day. Clio Ding writes about CMIO (Chinese, Malay, Indian, Others) in her article on Singapore comics. Representations are important but we also need to go beyond the national narrative of social constructs. Of the 10 featured artists for the comics embassy, 4 are female artists. Writer Ryan Mennen has also shared about his comics journey at the space this month. There is more to be done. (see the recent news of a secondary school’s issues with sexuality education; an alumnus of the school, a cartoonist, also wrote in to give feedback)
Lots of comics happenings over the weekend of 16 to 17 July. We had a successful Community Day on 16 July. (see our photo essay in this issue) There was also the 7th Singapore Original Comics Festival at the Jurong East library. Cartoonist Sam Lay opened his Pantomime Cartoons exhibition at Grids Coffee Bar. Picture book artist Josef Lee had a sharing session with Lianhe Zaobao student correspondents on Saturday morning. Later, the students came down for the Community Day and had fun hanging out and drawing.
But here’s a thought. Does this mean that we need to have big bang events to attract fans and crowd to visit us? Attendance for our other events and workshops are so so. But it is not possible to have big bangs all the time. It is not sustainable and requires manpower, programming and commitment. We still have some way to go to build this community and a critical mass.International perspectives are important and comparative studies can be helpful. Next month, there will be a sharing by a visiting researcher who will talk about political cartoons and illustrations from Bengal, 1950-1970. I will do a short presentation about the history of comics and cartoons in Singapore, focusing on political cartoons at the same session. Do drop by the embassy on 5 August at 6.30 pm if you are free. Education is one of our focus. NAFA has started a comics club for their students and they have been coming for some of the talks and workshops at the embassy. Also thanks to Kang Jing for sharing his world, our arena of comics to a group of secondary students in a school earlier this month.
Till the next time.
Writer & Editor