This play from Drama Box looks at the dispossession and loss of the indigenous Malays and Orang Seletar of Singapore. 'Tanah' (land) and 'Air' (water) were their homes (Tanah Air) until the arrival of foreign interventions, displacing them from both. The deep sense of loss continues to be felt today.
'Tanah' is inspired by Isa Kamari's 'Duka Tuan bertakhta'. Set in 1819, a young girl loses her home on the sea and is forced to come ashore. As she navigates around the various parties who stake their claims to this land, she questions her identity and struggles to find her footing on this land she calls home.
'Air' is a verbatim performance that looks at the displacement of the Orang Seletar, an indigenous community in Singapore, and how as Singapore evolved, they had to resettle in Johor, only to face the threat of being displaced again with the impending development of their customary territories.
What happens when a community's ties to their land are severed? How do we know when to fight, negotiate, or simply succumb to agents of power?
Performed in Malay and Chinese, with Malay, Chinese and English surtitles.
Organized by and at Malay Heritage Centre on 16 - 20 October from 8:15 - 11:15 pm | Tickets SGD 68 (excl. booking fee)