News Details | 07-Jun-2013

NTU writing festival hosts acclaimed writers, artists

World renowned writer Dermot Healy, who has been dubbed the 'Celtic Hemingway', and multi-award winning Filipino-Australian author Merlinda Bobis, will join fellow writers, artists, students and community members next week for the Transcultural Imaginaries Conference and Festival of Writing at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) from 14 to 17 June 2013.
Organised by NTU's Centre for Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and Division of English, members of the public can look forward to free creative writing workshops by these leading writers from around the world, including Gibraltar-born British poet, fiction-writer and scholar Elizabeth Cook, and Jamaican prize-winning author Olive Senior as well as a slew of Singapore writers and playwrights, such as Grace Chia, Ng Yi-Sheng, Ben Slater and Jean Tay.
The international multidisciplinary conference will celebrate the success of Moving Worlds: A Journal of Transcultural Writings, which is co-published by NTU and Leeds University. The journal, which focuses on creative work as well as criticism, literary as well as visual forms of representation from different cultural traditions, began life in 2001 in Leeds and the UK, and has, since 2011, grown fresh roots in Singapore. 

Taking a cue from the journal’s title, the central theme of the conference is the movement of cultures across regional, national, and international boundaries, and the diverse and rich transformations resulting from these crisscrossings.  Participants at the conference will discuss and investigate key issues such as the extent to which globalisation has made possible significant innovations in the arts; the interrelationship between the indigenous and the global; the continuing claims of the past and tradition upon interpretations of our present world and lives.

Professor Alan Chan, Dean of NTU’s College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences said, “In hosting this major international conference, our college, and NTU, has again demonstrated its deep commitment to the development of a culture of engagement with the arts and culture, locally and transnationally. Bringing together writers, artists, and academics from more than 20 countries confirms NTU’s College of the Humanities, Arts and, Social Sciences as a major established centre of intellectual and creative activity in Asia.”

Mexican artist's poignant gun-into-shovel comes to Singapore

A key highlight of the event’s launch is the planting of a tree with a shovel specially produced by Mexican artist Pedro Reyes, who is featured in the latest issue of Moving Worlds, 'Crime Across Cultures'. The shovel is one of 1,527 whose metal parts were melted from 1,527 weapons, the bulk of which were high power automatic weapons of exclusive military use in Culiacán, Mexico.

In 2008, the artist Pedro Reyes initiated the “Palas por Pistolas” art project and campaign in the western Mexican city with a high rate of deaths by gunshot. Citizens were encouraged to give up a gun and exchange it for a coupon. Those coupons could be traded in a local store in exchange for domestic appliances and electronics.

The shovels were distributed to a number of art institutions and public schools where adults and children engage in the action of planting 1,527 trees – and one of these trees will find a home in Singapore's own NTU.

Bloomsday celebrations in Singapore

To commemorate the life of Irish writer James Joyce, NTU and the Embassy of Ireland will host the Bloomsday Celebrations Reception on Sunday evening, 16 June 2013. The event will be attended by the Irish Ambassador to Singapore, His Excellency Joe Hayes.

Observed annually on 16 June in Dublin and around the world since 1954, Bloomsday aims to relive the events of Joyce's novel Ulysses, which is set on 16 June 1904. The event at NTU’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences will feature readings by Derek Hand, Dermot Healy and others.

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Media contact:

Feisal Abdul Rahman
Senior Assistant Director (Media Relations)
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: (65) 6790 6687

About Nanyang Technological University

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, and Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences. It has a new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).

A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.

Besides the main Yunnan Garden campus, NTU also has a satellite campus in Singapore’s science and tech hub, one-north, and a third campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.

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