On my morning commute the past week I've been reading the Tangent's latest issue of its journal on "The Makers and Keepers of History" . The short essays by historians and researchers describing their experiences of trying to access documents, archives and memories are humbling. Some are fairly straightforward accounts of the difficulties of getting government agencies to allow access to their files and archives. Most of these experiences have been negative. The descriptions are matter-a-fact, but the reader can sense the frustration or is invited to wonder at the suspicion and the impenetrability of a "no". Others are more personal accounts of interviews, chance encounters and the politics of documenting. These are stories of relationships forged, grown. Who are the "makers" of history? The larger-than-life politician or the many individuals who collectively lend power or privately shape lives; the government archivist or the historian? And are
Showing posts from June, 2008
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loving lines. photo by J, improvisation by Y Ah, the school holidays have just ended for the young ones, but it's obvious they've been getting all inspired, declaring their love on the walls with limited rhyme and very neat handwriting. For me, there's been no drawings, no daydreams, no stories. Most of the time outside of the office (save for the reading on the morning commute), I've been just feeling strangely tired. Friends, if you are also contemplating a change from corporate serfdom, tym tempts and educates you on being freelance, footloose .
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images by J Twice a week, J and I take a walk from our 15th storey flat to the midnight world of ground-level HDB void-decks and post-upgrading inter-block "connectors". For our cluster of flats, we have a tarred 700m jogging track lined with bushes and the occasional family of benches. Midnight or past midnight, the mini-casino of geriatric chup zhe kee players at the void deck have disbursed back to their bedrooms. A majority of windows are dark. From one particular 2nd storey flat with flourescent tube lights there is always the sound of mahjong (yes, good combat against senility). Except for the occasional chap who is on his way home from a long day at work, the domestic help whispering her love and troubles into a pay phone, or teenage gropers scrunged on the benches, there's not much public human activity on our safe island past midnight. We are accompanied on our walks instead by other creatures. Cockroaches scurry across our path. On the wall outside