ABOUT MY COMMUNITY FESTIVAL 2021
My Community Festival is a ground-up initiative showcasing Singapore’s community stories through immersive tours, tastings and other cultural and heritage experiences.
Emphasising heritage as a cultural process, the Festival aims to connect people from all walks of life by providing opportunities to forge new connections and expand social networks. The Festival is also curated in collaboration with heritage practitioners, business owners, legacy brands and other religious and cultural institutions as part of a participatory approach towards heritage and cultural management.
Following the success of the 2020 festival, this year’s My Community Festival is bigger and better! Supported by the Singapore Tourism Board, the festival will feature over 60 unique events across 10 programme series. Rolled out over four weekends in September with events running from dawn till dusk, there is something for everyone, at any time of day and in every part of Singapore at My Community Festival!
Everyday Places, Everyday Faces
When? 24 Hours, 7 Days a Week, 365 Days a Year!
Whenever we think of the word “everyday”, what immediately comes to mind must be the clock and the 24 hours within a day. From birdsinging and qigong exercises during sunrise to after-hours tours in Toa Payoh and Balestier to celebrate our unsung heroes keeping Singapore going while all of us are sleeping, My Community Festival 2021 invites you to explore our everyday places and connect with the everyday people in our communities. Let us step into their stories and lived experiences to discover the little things which make Singapore home.
Where? In our Everyday Places!
At My Community, heritage is not locked up in a museum somewhere but is found in our everyday places! From our sites of worship to the parks that we visit, every interaction we have with others in the environment forms part of our collective social memory. It is truly in our everyday places where connections are made and where emotions are felt most strongly!
Who? With our Everyday Faces!
Who makes heritage happen? You and me! Community heritage is not some monitored by a single individual. The everyday faces around us are part of the heritage process and we keep our heritage going by maintaining or making new connections with others! We hope that this festival provides you an opportunity to hear the stories of our hosts but also the everyday people around you! Form new connections and get involved in the making of your own heritage!
FESTIVAL DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE
Everyday places like our neighbourhood centres, factories and parks may not embody grand historical narratives. Instead, they are interlaced with our ordinary routines and activities through which we meet our neighbours, friends and other familiar strangers whom we may not have the courage to approach and befriend. Whether it is a qigong exercise at the park connector or a ritual ceremony at the temple, these mundane activities make us who we are and these seemingly ordinary places are our repositories of individualised and collectivised memories.
People are the true heart of our community and their lived experiences provide a treasure trove of stories which allows us to see Singapore in a new light. The festival is an opportunity for us to come together and connect over our shared love of our island home, while uncovering the rich layers that define our multicultural society. We hope that it will spark a newfound appreciation for everyday spaces, and fuel more explorations into the community to uncover the hidden sides of Singapore.
Kwek Li Yong
My Community Festival was first conceptualised by My Community co-founder Kwek Li Yong to showcase the everyday aspects of Singapore while providing a platform for Singaporeans to establish fresh community bonds. Celebrating people, their hard work, their knowledge and their communities, My Community Festival stands apart from other festivals in Singapore.
However, the organization of this festival has not been easy. As the severity of the pandemic fluctuated throughout the months, Community Festivals Manager Tan Li Qi had to lead his team to quickly adapt to new safe-distancing guidelines and convince both old and new collaborators to participate in this year’s festivities. With the cumulative efforts of the team, the festival is not only happening in September but has expanded from 144 events in 2020 to over 350 events this year!
ABOUT MY COMMUNITY
My Community is a non-profit organisation and an Institution of a Public Character which conducts community-based participatory research and heritage assessments; establishes community museums, archives and libraries; organises community festivals and guided tours; and co-create community architecture and urban spaces. It seeks to preserve social memories, celebrate Singaporeans’ shared culture and heritage and champion greater community involvement in cultural management and urban governance.