In celebration of Pride Singapore, we focused on creating a more queer-affirming and queer-inclusive environment for Singaporean youth with a special project BELACAN to create greater awareness of the LGBTQ+ community. With this goal in mind, we collaborated with photographer Lenne Chai on a fantasy school yearbook, or “queerbook”. In a special project, BELACAN, that explored what it would be like if civil discourse and peaceful protests were encouraged in school life and interviewed individuals who emphasized the need for creating a welcoming and inclusive society for all members, including the LGBTQ+ community in Singapore and those who are marginalized and vulnerable. The photo series was inspired by the imagery of student-led political movements in Singapore and the participation of the online discussion group SAMBAL (Singaporean And Malaysian Bisexual women And Lesbians) in LGBT marches in San Francisco in the early 90s.
“In Singapore, the Public Order Act regulates public assemblies, demonstrations, and protests, and these activities generally require a police permit. The law has been enforced by the Singapore Police Force since 2009, and as a result, demonstrations and protests have become relatively rare in Singapore. While this legal requirement may be seen as a limitation on freedom of expression, it is worth noting that the purpose of the Public Order Act is to ensure public safety and order. In creating the BELACAN photo series for Pride Singapore, it is not intended to criticize the law, but rather to explore what it would be like if civil discourse and peaceful protests were more commonly encouraged in school life. ☺️”