I was talking about the three 'Worlds' in my last post, and how sad it is that this part of Singapore's history is really just that; history. We are not talking 15th century relics, but buildings that are still vivid in a lot of people's memories. These buildings were a part of people's everyday lives, shaping the way they saw the world. Most of them have been pulled down to make way for shopping malls and condominiums, and in doing so I think a little bit of a Singapore's heart and soul has been pulled down as well.
The National Museum of Singapore is asking Singaporeans to share their memories and stories in digital video in a project called 'Digital Homelands Singapore'. There is no restrictions on genre, shooting format or video equipment used and the videos can be between 5 and 8 minutes long. This is not a competition, but an attempt to address the collective sense of loss which people feel and to make their fading memories tangible.
The museum has commissioned six videos to kick start the project, and they can be watched on-line at www.digitalhomelands.sg and as part of a video installation at the museum in August.
One of the films was made by K. Rajagopal who won the Singapore International Film Festival Silver Screen Awards three years in a row, from 1995 to 1997. His film centre's around the semi-autobiographical story of a young boy growing up in 1960s Singapore and whose life parallels the fortunes of the New World Amusement Park. It brings life to the era and the Amusement Park, which would have been a place of mystery and excitement for the boy.
The other films include a depiction of life growing up in a kampung in Hougang, a tribute to the beautiful beach trees of Singapore, as well as public places like Bedok Jetty and Boon Lay.
Anyone remotely interested in the Singapore of that era will find these portrayals fascinating. And if you are a Singaporean with special memories, why not submit a video.

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