For the Record is a three-part documentation project comprising a spoken-word performance, an exhibition, and a manuscript. The project explores the Eurasian identity in a time of great flux and online instances of xenophobia. How do Eurasians fit into the future of Singapore when their day-to-day experiences are met with questions such as “What’s a Eurasian?”, “Where are you from?” and “If you are Singaporean, then why do you look like that?”
The performance is envisioned as a one-hour show combining spoken word with ethno-drama techniques. Also titled For the Record, the performance is based on personal stories, historical transcripts, academic research and interviews with Eurasians living in Singapore. The narrative revolves around the contributions of pioneer Eurasians in pre-and post-independence eras and discusses the aspirations of Gen X Millennial Eurasians. The performance will take place on Feb 17 & 18 at The Arts House Play Den.
An exhibition is also planned for mid-2017, presenting the stories and the research from the project. A final manuscript of the project will also be published, to serve as a record of contemporary Eurasian identity in present-day Singapore.
For the Record is created and developed by CharChey, a pair of performance poets who desire to explore the communication of sociocultural and environmental issues through the creative arts. Charlene Shepherdson is a performance poet and dramaturg interested in the intersection where heritage, technology and environment meet. She uses language in written, performative and visual forms to build communities and grow voices. Her words have been published in the Straits Times and in poetry anthologies by Math Paper Press, Ethos Books and Pillow Book Media. Cheyenne Alexandria Phillips is an environmentalist by day, performance poet by night and on occasion she hangs out in the control rooms of black boxes, lighting various stages. She is a founder and editor at Coffee Stained Press and has been published in their first anthology Words: Lost and Found (2016). She has performed at destination: INK and SPEAK. as a feature and was part of the production team for (Mono)play (2014) by Yellow Chair Productions and Why Do We Do What We Do (2014) and Bi(cara) (2016) by Pink Gajah Theatre.
For the Record was developed in residence at Centre 42’s Basement Workshop.
Follow the creation process through this series of video interviews with CharChey.
Finding Other Narratives (25 Nov 2016)
Charlene and Cheyenne share their motivations behind creating “For the Record” and describe the various components of the project.
Being Eurasian (25 Nov 2016)
Charlene and Cheyenne discuss what their Eurasian identity means to them.
The Research (25 Nov 2016)
Charlene and Cheyenne talk about the research they are conducting for their project on Eurasian identity, which includes historical research, a survey and a performance.
(pre)position: Opening (16 June 2017)
On 16 June 2017, CharChey opened their exhibition, titled (pre)positions, with a presentation of poems and excerpts from their research on the Eurasian community in Singapore. CharChey also took the audience on tours of the exhibition. You can watch their presentation and a tour led by Cheyenne in the video below:
(pre)position: In-between (30 June 2017)
CharChey returned to the Centre 42 courtyard for another round of poetry and sharing. This time, the two focus on prominent historical figures of the Singapore Eurasian community.