Cape Town (2011)

16 – 19 March, 2011

Cape Town scored an artistic first with a programme that featured three Singapore Cultural Medallion recipients: poet Edwin Thumboo; composer, conductor and arranger Iskandar Ismail; and writer Isa Kamari. On this occasion, Singapore literary works were introduced to a wide South African audience with the launch of Man / Born / Free: Writings on the Human Spirit, a book edited by literary critic and poet Gwee Li Sui and published by Ethos Books.


This edition, which attracted a Singapore delegation of 150, was organised with South African partner Raintree Solutions. Some 300 South African and Singaporean delegates, including top officials such as Minister for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism for Western Cape Alan Winde, Mayor of Cape Town city Dan Plato and Singapore High Commissioner Bernard William Baker attended the opening at the Council Chamber within Cape Town Civic Centre.


This edition marked the world premiere of Selamat, a music-theatre work composed by Iskandar Ismail, which is set to the poetry by Edwin Thumboo, with text by Phan Ming Yen and directed by Jeremiah Choy. Held at Artscape, the 45-minute work told the story of a friendship between a Singaporean man and a South African woman.


An educational component was introduced with the participation from Temasek Polytechnic and Nanyang Technological University of Singapore. Some 20 students participated in a research project, Sustaining Tomorrow’s Future with Creative Business for Today, to develop the best proposal that could sustain Cape Town’s tourism in winter through an immersion of the city.