The LitUp Festival, organised by The Writers Centre Singapore, will take place in Singapore from October 12 to 14.
The Festival began as an indie platform for emerging 18-35 year-old Singaporean writers, poets, spoken word, visual and theatrical artists. Now, in its eighth year, it is going regional, reaching out to ASEAN countries and beyond.
About 200 Singaporean and international poets, spoken word artists, storytellers, dancers, theatre and mime artists and youth delegates will be attending the three-day festival-symposium and street fiesta event at Lasalle College of the Arts, Aliwal Arts Centre and Haji Lane.
The free entry 3-day festival is open to the general public with a special focus on university-aged students.
Dr Chris Mooney-Singh (photo), LitUp Artistic Director and Co-Founder of The Writers Centre talks about the festival this year:
What is your vision for the Festival this year?
Essentially a literary arts festival that translates texts to performance, we are working with the theme Water, City, Sky which represents past, present and the future to showcase various oral traditions in South-East Asia, contemporary expressions of writing and performance as well as a strong focus on film, animation.
This year there is a special focus on Balinese theatre and dance as well as a strong focus on digital user-created virtual world platforms such as Second Life and the VR-enabled Sansar which have huge potential for art making, education and international community outreach.
What are the programme highlights?
This year award-winning UK poet Daljit Nagra will present excerpts from his contemporary retelling of the Ramayana. A contemporary Balinese theatre company Teater Kini Berseri will interpret a Singaporean narrative poem and micro-fictions through mime, dance and puppetry.
Keelat Theatre will do a pantun (interactive poetry) performance and we will also witness Filipino Balagtasan, a unique historical form of debate-battle poetry in Tagalog and English. Nam Hwa Opera will perform in Teochew dialect with surtitles.
In addition, there will be a scholarly symposium @ the Flexible Space on Saturday (13 October) in conjunction with education partner Lasalle College of the Arts which will discuss oral traditions, contemporary Asian literature, film animation and new digital frontiers of virtual worlds.
This will be followed by Crash Test Theatre, a 10-minute play competition with a $1,000 prize for the winning work.
On Sunday morning (October 14) there will mime, manga art, Chinese opera and YA fiction workshops at Aliwal Arts Centre followed by a cafe fiesta of poetry performances, readings, music and street theatre performances at Haji Lane venues from 1pm to 11.30pm.
Those interested in VR will be able to experience virtual worlds at the Virtual Media Zone above Muzium Cafe from 1pm.
Sign up for free @ https://www.litupasia.com/
What other initiatives have you started in Singapore?
The Writers Centre Singapore and its sister non-profit Word Forward, the Founder of Poetry Slam™ in Singapore and Malaysia since 2003, is responsible for the thriving spoken word scene here and across the Causeway.
Monthly Poetry Slams at Blu Jaz Cafe attract capacity audiences. Three of our mentored poet performers are also recipients of the Young Artist of the Year Award from the National Arts Council.