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Raffles Renounced: Towards a Merdeka History

by Ethos
Original price $27.30 - Original price $27.30
Original price
$27.30 - $27.30
Current price $27.30

Alfian Sa’at, Faris Joraimi, Sai Siew Min (editors)

Paperback, 280 pages



Why did independent Singapore celebrate two hundred years of its founding as a British colony in 2019? What does Merdeka mean for Singaporeans? And what are the possibilities of doing decolonial history in Singapore? Raffles Renounced: Towards a Merdeka History presents essays by historians, literary scholars and artists which grapple with these questions. The volume also reproduces some of the source material used in the play Merdeka / 獨立 / சுதந்திரம் (Wild Rice, 2019). Taken together, the book shows how the contradictions of independent nationhood haunt Singaporeans' collective and personal stories about Merdeka. It points to the need for a Merdeka history: an open and fearless culture of historical reckoning that not only untangles us from colonial narratives, but proposes emancipatory possibilities.


Contributors: Alfian Sa’at • Neo Hai Bin • Hong Lysa • Huang Jianli • Sai Siew Min • Faris Joraimi • Azhar Ibrahim • Nicholas Lua • Jimmy Ong • Joanne Leow




1. Introduction


2. "We refuse to recognise the trauma": A Conversation between Alfian Sa'at and Neo Hai Bin


3. "Merdeka!": From cacophony to the sound of silence - Hong Lysa


4. Stamford Raffles and the Founding of Singapore: The Politics of Commemoration and Dilemmas of History - Huang Jianli


5. The Bicentennial: Of Precedents, Prequels and the Discipline of History in Singapore - Hong Lysa


6. Why Raffles is Still Standing: Colonialism, Migration and Singapore's Scripting of the Present - Sai Siew Min


7. Finding Merdeka in a World of Statues: Singapore's Colonial Pageant Remade and Unmade - Faris Joraimi


8. Malay Literary Intelligentsia and Colonialism: A Stunted Discourse - Azhar Ibrahim


9. Opening the Bicentennial: Historical Plurality in Sean Cham's Art - Nicholas Lua


10. "Giving up an attachment to power": An interview with Jimmy Ong


11: "Theatre doesn't change anything": Merdeka and the Performance of the Singapore Bicentennial - Joanne Leow


12. Merdeka Texts