This chapter explores the networks involved in the landscape of the artistic grassroots, state arts policy nexus, the Singaporean 'heartland' and how these encounters are played out upon/within the urban environment through the lens of the 'Awaken the Dragon' festival. It briefly outlines Singapore's 'cultural turn' and the context of the artistic grassroots in the city-state. Singaporean paradox clearly demonstrates the careful reading necessary of artistic criticality and its agents and networks in Singapore: 'forum theatre' contains distinctly radical potential, and has its origins in Marxist movements in South America – yet the way it has been co-opted, used and deployed by the authoritarian state means that it now falls under the state umbrella as a tool for nation-building and social harmony. As a participatory grassroots activity that brought thousands of Singaporeans together, 'Awaken the Dragon' succeeded in a way that many top-down arts initiatives have failed to do.
|Title of host publication||Public Art Encounters|
|Subtitle of host publication||Art, Space and Identity|
|Editors||Martin Zebracki, Joni Palmer|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis|
|Number of pages||16|
|Publication status||Published - 5 Sep 2017|