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IndigNation 2016 saw a resurgence in the density of events scheduled for the LGBT pride month, with a bumper crop of organisers and a wide range of genres and topics covered. The main organisers were Ng Yi-Sheng, Eugene Tan, Stepanie Dogfoot, Muslim Sahib and Zarina Muhammad. As in the previous years, the event posters were designed by Kenneth Chee and Gary Lim. The name of the previous IndigNation Facebook page started by former organiser Jun Pow was changed to plu.sg to avoid confusion with the current one.

Advertisement[1]:

"Every August, the nation’s LGBTIQ+ community comes together to hold IndigNation: Singapore’s Pride Season. This is a month-long festival of queer activism and culture that has run since 2005, bringing together a diverse range of artists, advocates and audience members.

Our theme for IndigNation’s 12th year is “Truth to Power”. We want to encourage people to seek out truth through shared knowledge and understanding—and we want to empower them to speak out for change. We began this movement early, at PinkDot 2016, with our Write to Your MP campaign, calling on LGBTIQ+ people and their allies to make our voices heard by our government, just like homophobes do.

Our festival will unfold over four weekends in August 2016:

First, we kick things off the IndigNation Queer Film Festival, held on Fri 5 and Sat 6 August at The Projector. This event gathers the community together in a spirit of celebration as we enjoy queer-themed movies from across Asia and beyond. We are especially proud to have brought in Strike a Pose, the widely acclaimed documentary about that traces the lives of openly gay backup dancers of Madonna’s 1990 Blonde Ambition tour. This will be held as our Gala Night on Fri 5 August, 9:30pm, followed by an After Party.

The second weekend’s focus will be Natural Education, a queer-themed conference held on Sat 13 and Sun 14 August at one of Tanjong Pagar’s most iconic gay bars, DYMK. This series of afternoon talks aims to facilitate the sharing of information and perspectives between the different sectors of the LGBTIQ+ community.

Our final two weekends focus on LGBTIQ+ culture. Sat 20 marks the return of the ever-popular RIOT! drag show, starring and hosted by Becca de Bus, while Wed 24 will see a special edition of the Story Slam dedicated to queer-related real-life stories, told by ordinary people. We also invite members of the community to attend two events organised by outside organisations: The 8th Love & Pride Film Festival, held by Golden Village from 19 to 31 August, and Apa Itu Activist, a forum organised by our allies in civil society, held from the morning to the afternoon of Sat 20.

We bring our program to a close with ContraDiction on Sat 27 August. This is our annual evening of queer Singaporean literature and music, which will feature a host of young LGBTIQ+ writers and musicians performing their own work at the Arts House Chamber. To mark our 12th anniversary, we have chosen the subtitle “Dirty Dozen” for this year’s event. Writers have been asked to perform works with the themes of “dirt” and “dirtiness”, questioning the taboos that still limit our lives.

IndigNation will feature many other events other than those already listed, including a book launch by Tania de Rozario on Fri 12 August; PENGUINS PLUS!!!: A Queer Zoology Pub Quiz on Sat 13 August; TransIt: an Evening of Trans Arts and Culture on Sun 14 August; The Giving Table: A Dinner in Support of the T Project on Mon 15 August, and a workshop with poet Cat Brogan on Fri 26 August.

A full list of events is available below. We hope to see you there!"


Event line-up[edit]

IndigNation Opening: Strike a Pose[edit]

Facebook event page:[2].

Friday, 5 August 2016 from 9:30pm to 11pm

Advertisement:

"Join us at the Projector for the local premiere of an iconic documentary. Strike a Pose follows the lives of Madonna’s seven gay male backup dancers from her 1990 Blonde Ambition tour, revealing how they became inspirations for the gay community. This screening will be followed by an IndigNation Opening Party.

Details

Come and celebrate the opening of INDIGNATION 2016 with Singapore premiere of the acclaimed documentary STRIKE A POSE, presented by Indignation Queer Film Festival! Money raised from ticket sales will go towards supporting IndigNation events this year and in future years.

SYNOPSIS

In 1990, seven young male dancers - 6 gay, 1 straight - joined Madonna on the Blonde Ambition tour, her most controversial tour. On stage and in the iconic film Truth or Dare they showed the world how to express yourself. Now, 25 years later, they reveal the truth about life during and after the tour. Strike a Pose is a dramatic tale about overcoming shame and finding the courage to be who you are.

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE: http://peatix.com/event/181684

Directed by Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan

Belgium, Netherlands, 2016

Official Selection for BERLINALE 2016, TRIBECA 2016 and HOTDOCS 2016.

Media Rating: M18 (Mature 18) - Homosexual Themes"

Find out more at:

https://www.facebook.com/strikeaposefilm/

http://www.strikeaposefilm.com/

Trailer[3]:


Film Festival @ The Projector[edit]

Friday, 5 August 2016

A mini-film festival of LGBT-themed movies, curated by Stephanie Dogfoot and Muslim Sahib.

Papa Rainbow[edit]

Facebook event page:[4].

Peatix event page:[5]. (In an event ticketing is sold out. Limited tickets will be sold at the door. TICKETS: Standard (Free Seating) - $12.00. All Access Pass (Free Seating) SOLD OUT - $50.00. (All Access Pass allows access to all film screening during the festival; Papa Rainbow, Strike A Pose, Queer Shorts and Funny & Fabulous))

Saturday, 6 August 2016 from 7:30pm to 9pm

The Projector, 6001 Beach Road #05-00 Golden Mile Tower, Singapore 199589

Details

Media Rating: M18 (Mature 18) - Homosexual Themed.

Please get your ticket at http://peatix.com/event/181590

Papa Rainbow (彩虹伴我行)

Directed by Popo Fan

Produced by Queer Comrades, PFLAG China

China, 2016

Synopsis:

In China, most families have difficulties facing their lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (LGBT) children. They have to contend with common social beliefs that homosexuality is shameful, abnormal, a perverted condition caused by deviant family relationships. Many parents see their kids as their property, and fathers often assert their authority to ensure that no harm comes to the family reputation.

The documentary "Papa Rainbow" features six Chinese fathers who talk openly and freely about their experiences with their LGBT children. Speaking out against discrimination and stigma, they redefine what it means to protect a household. They fully embrace their kids for who they are, and become pioneer activists fighting for an equal and diverse society.

Interview with director Fan Popo[6]:


Trailer[7]:


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Funny & Fabulous[edit]

Saturday, 6 August 2016 from 9:30pm to 11pm

The Projector, 6001 Beach Road #05-00 Golden Mile Tower, Singapore 199589

Details

Media Rating: M18 (Mature 18) - Homosexual Themed, Sex and Nudity.

IndigNation Queer Film Festival brings you Funny & Fabulous with 2 short films, in one screening, that takes a unique spin to life events; 大龍鳳 (The Dragon and Phoenix Show) and Angmo & Amoi (A Film about Difference).

Please get your ticket at http://peatix.com/event/181583

大龍鳳 (The Dragon and Phoenix Show)[edit]

Mok Yuk Kuen

Hong Kong, 2012

Synopsis:

Mother discovers son’s gay identity after his suicide. She decides to come out of the closet on his behalf and arrange the first ever gay ghost marriage. Little does she know she is getting herself into one conniving scheme after another and insufferable family drama.

Angmo & Amoi[edit]

A Film about Difference

Elaine Foster and Seok Wun Au Yong

Malaysia, 2014

Synopsis:

Angmo and Amoi is a mockumentary which follows the life of two queer women in Malaysia - Elaine, a not very politically correct, loud mouthed, white British girl, who works for a local women's NGO and her new roommate Ying, a regular but not so regular newly out Chinese Malaysian lawyer who wants a bit of fun. Their cultural differences are immediately apparent but a close bond between the girls is quickly forged against all the odds as the two discover they are not so different after all.

Queer Shorts 2016[edit]

Facebook event page:[8].

Saturday, 6 August 2016 at 7:30pm to 9pm

Details

Media Rating: M18 (Mature 18) - Homosexual Themed, Sex and Nudity.

IndigNation Queer Film Festival brings you Queer Shorts 2016 with 4 short films, in one screening, that have been prominent in the LGBTQ community within the last few years; That’s My Boy, When Mom Visits, 犧牲之旅 (Life of Silence) and Soul Mates.

Please get your tickets at http://peatix.com/event/181589

That’s My Boy[edit]

Akhil Sathyan

India, 2016

Won Jury’s Best Documentary Award at Bioscope Global Film Festival 2015.

Won Best Documentary at Sanford International Film Festival 2016.

Synopsis:

Thats my boy, a documentary portrays the life of Sonu, who strongly disagrees to believe that his gender is the biological one. Sonu was born a girl but he always knew that his physical body and mental identity were at odds with each other. Amidst all adverse circumstances and a very poor social background Sonia flew towards her goal of defining a synergetic relationship between her body and mind, which finally made her a ‘him',Sonu.

When Mom Visits[edit]

Chang Chiung-wen

Taiwan/USA, 2015

Synopsis:

Vic’s perfect life in America ends as her mother Lynn pays an abrupt visit from Taiwan. Her girlfriend Janet realizes that Vic has never come out as she promised. Devastated, Janet leaves their apartment with a suitcase. The next day, Lynn takes Vic to have lunch with her friends. Vic assumes that Lynn has set her up with a male suitor but little, does she know that her mother has a secret of her own

犧牲之旅 (Life of Silence)[edit]

Ying Cheng-Ru

Taiwan, 2014

Screened at Taiwan Golden Harvest Awards & Short Film Festival 2015, Tokyo International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 2015 and Frederick Film Festival LGBTQ Night 2015, among others.

Synopsis:

A fiction woven in the reality, three gay men tangled in two weddings. When there is contradiction between erotic life and parental expectation, one would have to make a difficult choice. In order to rethink marriage, Life of Silence, a sequel to Body at Large, looks at the oppressed sexual minorities. What is a Happy Family? Is there only a single way to make it? Or one should be able to embrace one’s sexuality freely?

Soulmates[edit]

Lei Lei Aye

Myanmar, 2015

Opened for &PROUD Yangon LGBT Film Festival & Cabaret 2016

Synopsis:

Two Myanmar ladies living a normal life in central Myanmar… even though for many people in their country their life as a couple is not so normal. A short documentary film by the Rainbow Reels workshop to open the &PROUD Yangon LGBT Film Festival & Cabaret 2016

Book Launch: Tania De Rozario’s “And the Walls Come Crumbling Down”[edit]

Facebook event page:[9].

Advertisement:

"BooksActually presents

AND THE WALLS COME CRUMBLING DOWN

by Tania de Rozario

☞ 12 August 2016, Friday, 7 p.m. at BooksActually, (№ 9 Yong Siak Street, Singapore 168645)

Come for the official launch of And The Walls Come Crumbling Down, a story that parallels three events in the author’s life: the physical deterioration of the house in which she lives, the emotional disintegration of a couple once in love, and the unearthing of childhood ghosts that can’t seem to be cast off.

Part memoir and part poetic rumination, it is an ode to love, loss and the people and places we call home. Royalties from sales of this book, support Sayoni's research into violence and discrimination against queer women in Singapore.


Tania De Rozario is an artist and writer interested in issues of gender and sexuality, themes of desire and loss, possibilities of art as activism, and representations of women in Horror. Her practice hovers on the intersections between text and image, and her work has been showcased in London, Spain, Amsterdam, Singapore, New York, India and San Francisco. She is the author of Tender Delirium and And The Walls Come Crumbling Down, (Math Paper Press | 2013 & 2016).

She was the 2011 winner of Singapore’s Golden Point Award for English Poetry, and runs EtiquetteSG, a multidisciplinary platform focused on developing and showcasing art, writing, film and music made by women from/in Singapore. Its current work includes the development and facilitation of curriculum for art and writing workshops focused on issues of gender-based violence.

In 2003, a young woman leaves home without telling her family that she is not coming back. She spends the next six years moving from house to house and living hand-to- mouth; at first with her lover, and then alone. And The Walls Come Crumbling Down parallels three events in the author’s life: the physical deterioration of the house in which she lives, the emotional disintegration of a couple once in love, and the unearthing of childhood ghosts that can’t seem to be cast off. Part memoir and part poetic rumination, it is an ode to love, loss and the people and places we call home."

Natural Education: a Queer Conference[edit]

Saturday, 13 August to Sunday, 14 August 2016.

Venues: DYMK and Out Bar.

An all-day conference about diverse issues in the community, from safer sex to parenting to media portrayals of LGBT sexuality. Different events will be held in English, Mandarin and Malay.

Facebook event page:[10].


Details

As LGBITQ+ people, we don’t get to learn much about our community in school. Instead, we have to head to the bars of Tanjong Pagar — and that’s exactly what we’ll be doing this weekend.

Natural Education is a queer conference that gathers a range of speakers and interest groups for dialogue, aiming to expose the community to a diverse range of perspectives and ideas. Check out the list of events below:


Work in Progress: A 21st Century Queer Activist Panel[edit]

Saturday, 13 August 2016, 1 to 2:30pm, DYMK

Featuring Leow Yangfa (Oogachaga), Jean Chong (Sayoni), Eugene Tan aka Becca de Bus (IndigNation); moderated by Raksha Mahtani

Singapore’s supposed to be an innovative, futuristic first-world nation. But while other countries are winning same-sex marriage and adoption rights, we’re still struggling with anti-gay sex laws and censorship policies that stubbornly refuse to go away.

In this panel, representatives from Singapore’s major queer activist groups describe their work and their struggles, confronting the question: how on earth can we create positive change in a place like this?


Everything You Wanted to Know About Trans People But Were Afraid to Ask[edit]

Saturday, 13 August 2016, 3-4:30pm, DYMK

A talk by Christopher Khor, followed by a panel discussion featuring Joe Wong, Sherry Sherqueshaa and Sandhya Thomas

Let's face it: most of you reading this know next to nothing about transgender people. Perhaps you've only heard insulting nicknames, and a few inspiring stories about lives being transformed through surgery and hormones. But what is like to live day to day as a trans person in Singapore? What issues are most important to the community? How can you tell if someone is transgender—or does that even matter? No more excuses for ignorance—our panel of trans activists is ready and equipped to teach you a lesson you won't forget.

Communication and Consent in Poly/Kink Relationships[edit]

Saturday, 13 August 2016, 3-4:30pm, Out Bar.

Facilitated by Natalie Tai

If you're non-monogamous, kinky, both, or just curious about how to ramp up communication and consent in your sexual and/or romantic life, this workshop is for you. Talk to people who have the same weirdo problems, and share the failures and successes of your own journey in communicating needs and desires in ethical non-monogamy and/or kink. All inclinations welcome. Bring a pen, a notebook and a bit of courage.

Queer Parenting Workshop[edit]

Saturday, 13 August 2016, 5-6:30pm, DYMK.

Organised by Sayoni, facilitated by Olivia Chiong

Homophobes like to say queer people are anti-family. That’s rubbish—in fact, quite a few of us have started families of our own! We invite you to a gathering of gay, lesbian and bisexual parents, who will share the challenges and delights of raising kids in Singapore.

From the Basics: A Safer Sex Workshop[edit]

Saturday, 13 August 2016, 5-6:30pm, Out Bar

Organised by Action For AIDS.

We're sorry to say this, but your sex education teacher probably lied to you. Abstinence until marriage is NOT always the best solution. Sex is NOT always an act between one cisgender man and one cisgender woman. Join in this inclusive and interactive workshop where we share genuine, scientific advice about how to stay healthy as a sexually active queer person. It's time to cut through all the silly conservative myths and get back to basics.

Same story, different spaces: WhyNot Vol 5 Dialogue Session[edit]

Sunday, 14 August 2016, 1-2:30pm, DYMK.

Organised by TrendLit (Andy Ang and Ang Jin Yong)

In collaboration with IndigNation, TrendLit is organising a dialogue session inspired by “Same story, different spaces”: the feature interview of their Chinese literary magazine. WhyNot /不为什么. This volume features interviews with different writers and artists as they share their experiences in their individual fields (short stories, movies, poetry, theatre) and how they use them to tell the same story: the ambiguous relationship between LGBTs and the country. Our editors will be talking about the inspirations and major takeaways from this interviews, and we hope to invite everyone on board this journey.

《WhyNot不为什么》第五期专题座谈会:异曲“同”工的空间

新文潮文学社将会配合每年8月进行的IndigNation 举办《不为什么》第五期的专题座谈会。这一期的专题以“异曲‘同’工”命名,希望通过采访不同“空间”(电影、小说、诗、戏剧等等)的文化人探讨国家与同志的“暧昧”关系。编辑们会分享他们对于专题的心得与想法,也邀请各位前来与我们一起共享这一场文学之旅。

Young, Out and Proud?[edit]

Sunday, 14 August 2016, 3-4:30pm, DYMK.

Organised by the Inter-Uni LGBT Network

In the wake of the Orlando shootings, our government’s retainment of s377A, media censorship and other issues, “Young, Out, and Proud?” will explore questions on the future and role of LGBTQ youth leaders in Singapore. Three community leaders from the Inter-University LGBT Network will be sharing their experiences, thoughts, and perspectives on leading LGBTQ youth and Singapore’s LGBTQ landscape over the next 5 to 10 years. Thereafter, participants will get the chance to air their views on these issues in facilitated small group discussions.

Magic as Protest, Reclaiming and Resistance: An Interactive workshop on Queer Magic[edit]

Sunday, 14 August 2016, 5-6:30pm, DYMK.

Facilitated by Reilly Phanes and Zarina Muhammad

What is magic? The realms of the magical and mystical clearly belong to not just a single culture, language or community. While it may be possible, broadly speaking, to map out some scholarly and anthropological consensus or intersections as to what constitutes magic, understanding the realms of the magical and mystical have had a certain heuristic quality to it.

In this workshop, Reilly Phanes and Zarina Muhammad will be sharing their respective interdisciplinary research and practice on this subject matter. They will look at the setting up of magic as a point of cultural dispute which has served to construct, circulate and perpetuate certain tiresome tropes and representations of the ‘primitive’, the ‘indigenous’, of what is perceived as backwardness, degenerate, dubious, disordered and failing to occupy positions of legitimacy. They will also address the counterpoints to these ideas and reposition magic as a tool of queer resistance and as a way of reclaiming what has been vilified and maligned.

Participants will have the opportunity to experience the fundamental techniques of magic – “the science and art of changing consciousness in conformity with the will”. They will learn how how to move energy and direct it towards a desired goal. Basic principles of spell-making will be shared and each person will go home with their own DIY spell bottle. There will be plenty of time for group discussion and exploration. We ask for participants to contribute $5 for materials and to bring along a small glass jar. (If you don’t have one lying around, you can get one from Daiso for $2)

PENGUINS PLUS!!!: A Queer Zoology Pub Quiz[edit]

Saturday, 13 August 2016, 8pm, The Hangar, 25 Arab Street.

Facebook event page:[11].

Organised by Stephanie Dogfoot.


So maybe you already know about gay penguins from that dangerous/controvesial children’s book. But what do you know about gay killer whales? Or the flirting habits of lesbian parrots? Have you ever wondered what bisexual koalas do when they really like each other?

Find out and test your knowledge at PENGUINS PLUS: the first ever pub quiz about queer animal sex! In a collaboration between IndigNation SG and Biodiversity Connections. we bring you a night of great food and drinks, fabulous prizes and mind-blowing facts to throw at the next person who tells you that being queer isn’t ‘natural’.

Hosted by Stephanie Dogfoot and Marie Wong.

TRANSIT: an Evening of Trans Arts[edit]

Sunday, 14 August, 7pm to 9pm, Artistry, 17 Jalan Pinang, Singapore 199149.

Facebook event page:[12].

Organised by Ng Yi-Sheng and Atiq Lukman.

(Pending MDA classification)

Details

There are plenty of lesbian, gay and bisexual artists in Singapore—but where are the T’s in the LGBT? The answer is: right here! Come for an evening of collaboratively created writing and music on all topics by a new generation of trans* artists!

Featured artists include:

Performance artist MARLA BENDINI

Musicians CHRISTOPHER KHOR & ALEXANDER TEH

Singer REI KUROHI

Writers D DANGARAN, DRIMA CHAKRABORTY & ATIQ LUKMAN

Pending MDA Rating. If rating is not granted, this event will be held as a private event.

The Giving Table: A Dinner in Support of the T Project[edit]

Prepared with love by Rose.

Monday, 15 August, 7pm, Artistry, 17 Jalan Pinang.

Peatix event page:[13].


Advertisement:

"You may have seen 78 year old Rose in Pink Dot’s video, Our Heroes, sharing her life story as she cooked a meal in the shelter set up by June Chua, co-founder of the T Project. The shelter for homeless transgender individuals has been a crucial sanctuary to Rose and several others since 2014, until recently.

The T Project aims to sustainably run a shelter to support transgender persons who face basic survival challenges when ostracized by their families and society. What we enjoy and take for granted everyday – sharing a meal with loved ones and sleeping soundly in our own beds each night – is not a reality for many of Singapore’s transgender persons.

The Giving Table invites you to come and share a delicious buffet dinner lovingly prepared by Rose and hosted by members of the T Project. 100% of the proceeds from the dinner will go towards helping T Project continue providing care, a temporary shelter and lasting empowerment to transgender individuals. And you’ll get to meet some of these inspiring people at dinner!

The Giving Table is a community initiative dedicated to supporting needful causes through the simple act of sharing good food from the heart.

Book your dinner tickets now: http://tproject01.peatix.com

5-course Dinner Buffet – S$80 per person

Each dish is connected to a fond memory that Rose has of her family, especially her adopted daughters and late husband."

ContraDiction XII: Dirty Dozen[edit]

Saturday, 27 August

Our annual queer evening of literature and music returns, with a special theme to mark our 12th anniversary. Curated by Stephanie Dogfoot, Ng Yi-Sheng and Zarina Muhammad.

See also[edit]

References & external links[edit]

  • IndigNation SG's Facebook page:[14].
  • IndigNation SG's Wordpress site:[15].
  • A playlist of videos of past IndigNation events on YouTube: [16].
  • IndigNation Sg's YouTube channel:[17].
  • PLU's IndigNation website. (now defunct)
  • The older IndigNation Facebook page:[18]. Its name was changed to plu.sg in July 2016 by Jun Pow so as not to clash with the official IndigNation SG Facebook page.

Acknowledgements[edit]

This article was compiled by Roy Tan.