Artists' Advocacy in Singapore: A Changing Drama

Audrey Wong


In this paper I look at how Singapore artists have recently capitalised on opportunities for advocacy in light of a changing political landscape. Since the 1980s, the arts in Singapore have offered a forum for social critique, albeit tamed by the state, and artists are part of the nascent civil society sector. I will first lay out some developments in the Singapore government's process of 'opening up', and end with an account of two recent initiatives: the arts community’s election of a representative for an appointment as Nominated Member of Parliament in 2009, and the campaign by the arts community to the Censorship Review Committee in 2009–10. Such accounts 'from the ground up' by practitioners are important for a deeper understanding of the interactions between the state, its agencies, arts practitioners and the various social and artistic interest groups that operate in the arts and cultural sector.


Singapore arts; cultural policy

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Asia Pacific Journal of Arts and Cultural Management; ISSN 1449-1184
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