Singapore Writers Festival (SWF) returns from October 30 to November 8 this year, with a diverse line-up of programmes inspired by the theme of "Intimacy".
Now in its 23rd edition, the multi-lingual literary festival organised by the National Arts Council (NAC) will be presented in a digital format for the first time.
Inviting authors and audiences to discuss and reflect on the impact of the pandemic, SWF 2020 shines the spotlight on what intimacy means in a time of quarantine and social distancing.
"This digital direction marks a turning point for us, where we had to experiment with new formats and innovate closely with the local literary community," said Festival Director, Pooja Nansi. "We are thrilled to offer our audiences this strong mix of online and offline touchpoints, and are excited to see how digitalisation can bring about greater convenience to festival goers who will be able to attend a wider range of programmes.”
Topics covered in the SWF 2020 programmes include the changing definitions of loneliness, mental health, and the need for human interaction and community-mindedness in such difficult times. Festival-goers can explore these topics across languages and formats, where artists have developed inventive ways of experiencing literature with the digital medium.
The public can immerse in stories that explore mental states and illness in aural and visual forms with interactive microsite Sit With Me. They can also assume the role of a confidante in an experiential digital encounter Connections, which features five seniors who are first time writers that capture the intimacies of life in their respective short monologues filmed from their homes.
Nansi added, "Through the festival’s programming and ground-up initiatives, we hope to spark conversations at home and abroad about what intimacy means to us in this new normal. We invite everyone to witness the power of literature in capturing this shared human need.”
Digital festival passes for SWF are available at SGD20 from 21 September 2020 via SISTIC Live, and will include full access to all programmes by international speakers for the first time.