Friday 2 March 2018

Lion City lit: #BuySingLit 2018

Asian Books Blog is based in Singapore. Our regular column Lion City lit explores in-depth what's going on in the City-State, lit-wise.

#BuySingLit is a movement to celebrate stories from Singapore. Advocating buy local, read our world, local book publishers, retailers and literary non-profits come together to encourage more people to discover and embrace Singapore's literature. 

Building on the success of the inaugural edition in 2017, #BuySingLit 2018 runs from 9 - 11 March, at multiple venues.

#BuySingLit 2018 features close to 40 programme partners driving the effort to reach people in four languages: English; Mandarin; Tamil; Malay. It offers a wide variety of events, including authors' appearances, readings, workshops, plays, music performances, exhibitions, book exchanges, and even supper.

One highlight this year is Love Letters to Singapore, a project by publisher Ethos Books in partnership with Singapore Post. Twelve writers have penned an ode to their own neighbourhood, and 240,000 copies of their letters will be sent out to Singaporeans living in these neighbourhoods.

Meanwhile, Singapore's City of Books, the Bras Basah Complex, will play host to four outdoor art installations, curated by the visual arts organisation OH! Open House. Inspired by selected booksellers at Bras Basah - Maha Yuyi, Evernew Book Store, Basheer Graphic Books and Popular Bookstore - three artists Kelly Limerick, Berny Tan, and Lai Yu Ting will create artworks in a tribute to their stories.

#BuySingLit 2018 boasts other highlights. Including:

Chatbooks: Using Facebook, readers can delve into Chatbooks  - a chatbot that features authors including Farihan Bahron, Nuraliah Norasid, Sithuraj Ponraj, Tania De Rozario and Xiao Han waiting to share their stories, complete with audio and video experiences. 

Gachapon: Gachapon are Japanese-style vending machines. #BuySingLit will provide customised capsule dispensing Gachapon to various bookstores in Singapore. Each capsule will contain a mini-booklet, a limited-edition book cover pin and a $10 #BuySingLit book voucher.

Textures: Co-commissioned by #BuySingLit, The Arts House launches Textures: a weekend with words a series of events to celebrate the rich literary landscape in Singapore, for anyone who wishes to get acquainted with Singapore literature in all its myriad of forms. With over 30 panels, workshops, performances and exhibitions spanning an array of genres, and crossing cultures and languages, Textures will celebrate the country's literary community.

Mr Kenny Leck, co-chair of the #BuySingLit working committee and owner of the locally-famous BooksActually bookstore says: "Taking root for the second year, the #BuySingLit festival is poised to reach a wider audience with curated programmes catered to everyone who loves a good read. This is the year for SingLit to shine."

For the full programme line-up and locations, click here.