Date: Wednesday, September 19
Time: Doors at 7:00 PM, first speaker at 7:30 PM
Place: Blu Jaz, 11 Bali Lane (Entrance on Ophir Road)
Cost: $5 donation
Talk 1: Our Gurkhas: Singapore Through Their Eyes
by Zakaria Zainal
Description : Our Gurkhas is an anthology of portraits and anecdotes from the retired Singapore Gurkhas as they reminisce about life in the Lion City — from the 1950s till today. The Gurkhas, men from Nepal, serve in the Gurkha Contingent of the Singapore Police Force. Established in 1949, the legacy of the Gurkha Contingent goes beyond the independence of Singapore. In Nepal, Zakaria tracked down, interacted and photographed these Gurkhas — from the states of Pokhara, Bhairahawa, Dharan and Katmandu. This anthology serves to bring awareness, provide identity and uncover historical anecdotes of Singapore through the eyes of the Gurkhas. It should also serve as an important visual archive of an invisible community.
Speaker: Zakaria is a photographer born and based in Singapore. He focuses on documentary projects that show the changing face of Asia in conflict or in progress. His recent work on the retired Singapore Gurkhas has been published into a book titled Our Gurkhas: Singapore Through Their Eyes and exhibited as part of a group exhibition Singapore Survey 2012: Strange New Faces at Valentine Willie Fine Art Gallery. Zakaria’s work has appeared in publications internationally such as the Nepali Times, The Straits Times, Art4d and The Invisible Photographer Asia.
Talk 2: Walking in the Snow Alone – Adventures on the Annapurna
by Abu Jaliwala
Description : Beginning in September 2012, the government of Nepal has required that all Free Independent Trekkers (FITs) in the Nepal Himalayas travel with at least one government registered porter or guide. Three years prior to this decree, Abu embarked on a solo trek of the Annapurna circuit, walking the route without a guide or a porter. The experience of solo trekking made him review his faith, his values, and his idea of fun. It also hooked him on the unique experience of solo trekking, a passion he has continued to pursue on treks such as the Everest Base Camp trek in 2010.
Speaker: Abu is a Singapore-based lawyer and travel addict. At any given time he is either in the midst of an adventure or planning one. He is also an extremely eligible bachelor.
Talk 3: Cutting Through The White Noise: The Story of the Asian Observer
by Shawn Danker
Description: The Asian Observer was founded as an alternative to Singapore’s state-controlled media, which slants heavily toward support for government policies. Since its inception in April 2012, the online publication has attempted to highlight viewpoints that do not receive adequate attention in mainstream outlets while steering clear of the knee-jerk anti-authoritarianism found in other left-of-center online publications. In this talk, Shawn Danker, Chief Editor of The Asian Observer, will share more about his inspiration for the publication and his experience as an alternative media practitioner in Singapore.
Speaker: Shawn is a self-taught photographer and journalist born and raised in Singapore. His photographic efforts range from fashion to photo journalism, including work in the tsunami stricken Tohoku region in Japan, at this year’s Bersih 3.0 rally in Kuala Lumpur, and as part of the upcoming Bukit Brown: Spaces for the Living photo exhibit . When he is not working on photography, Shawn is a firebrand reporter and editor.