Long before Tamil writing arrived at the postmodern landscape, creative migrant voices could be heard in Singapore. Since Kudirai Pandhya Lavani (1893), a folk-styled poem on horse racing in Singapore that describes the lively street scenes, Tamil writing in Singapore has been buzzing with portrayal of social actualities. With Singapore in the midst of nation-building in the mid-sixties, Singapore literati became inevitably sensitive to new realities.
Being the minority among the four races in Singapore and a majority among the Indian community, the Tamils enjoy a paradoxical position, but it hardly spills over into their writing. Yet, the journey of Tamil writing in Singapore is like traveling on a moving train. In broad daylight, it presents you with a variety of landscapes, people and their postures (not unlike wandering in the MRT trains that surge through underground tunnels). It chugged off slowly after an initial dilemma, but soon found its way in the seventies, settled with its pace in the eighties, and then picked up a swift momentum from the nineties.
Join us in this special talk, as our speaker Malaan will take us on the trails and tracks of the journey of Tamil writing in Singapore, tracing its imprints over time.