In this lecture performance, actress Sharon Frese explores the history and influence of the African diaspora in Singapore. Dredging the archives, she shares images and documents relating to slavery, colonialism, jazz and nationalist struggle, reaffirming the value of black culture as part of our shared heritage.
This event is both a history lesson and a theatrical ritual. The creators commemorate the untold numbers of black men and women—enslaved, indentured and expatriate—who crossed the oceans into unknown territory. They draw strength from these tides, which Indian convicts called the “black water”—in Hindi “kala pani”, or in Malay “ayer hitam”.