We’re in the final third of 2016 and, boy, has it been a journey. As we begin wrapping up the year and taking stock of all that has happened, we also want to also pay special attention to the communities and stories that may have eluded us.
One way of doing that is through literature – in choosing the topic ‘Margins’, Unseen renews its commitment to re-imagining and envisioning new perspectives on the stories we already know. Our writers have turned a keen eye to the topic of margins; some of them have created whole new pieces of art inspired by novels (Edward Eng) and poems (Ann Ang and Rachel Eng), while others have written essays and a theatre review (Sim Wee Ong)! Jerome Lim even takes the work of the 19th century Poet Laureate, Tennyson, and translates it, irreverently but also seriously, to Singlish.
In this issue, we have chosen to feature poems by Md Mukul (‘Expatriate Dream’) and Warsan Shire (‘Ugly’). Md Mukul is from Bangladesh and arrived in Singapore in 2008 for work in the construction sector. He also writes poetry, prose and short stories. Warsan Shire, the first Young Poet Laureate for London, contributed to Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ and writes powerfully of her experiences growing up as a migrant and as a minority person of colour. By featuring these two incredible poets, we want to highlight also the illusory binary of otherness, of borders, ‘here’ and ‘there’, ‘us’ and ‘them’. We want to encourage you to notice the diversity of personal narratives in our world today and to listen to the richness of other cultures and experiences.
So what exists in the margins of your life and your society? Are there people in your world who might give you a new perspective? Are there whole new arenas or topics in the texts you study that you haven’t explored yet? Would you like to take a look?
We hope that this issue inspires you to do just that – to take a step into something less familiar, and in the process, to learn and to grow, as students and as people. And have fun at the same time! Enjoy and as always, feel free to contact us to comment, discuss, give feedback or contribute 🙂
Unseen the Magazine
Photo credit: Rachel Eng