#RIPSRNathan and Young People’s Social Memory On Twitter

At 2204hrs on 22 August 2016, Channel News Asia broke the news of former President of Singapore, Mr SR Nathan’s passing. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) made a formal statement of the death moments later around 2240hrs.

I took to Twitter to observe how young people were responding to the death of Singapore’s sixth and longest-serving president (two terms, 1999-2011). Here are the first one hundred sentiments I curated from young people on Twitter – gauged by their use of internet vernacular, their adoption of parlance popular among young people, and my brief views of their profile pictures and biographical information – collected between 2240hrs and 2320hrs, back-scrolled to the earliest possible Tweets on #RIPSRNathan.

Continue reading #RIPSRNathan and Young People’s Social Memory On Twitter

Joseph Schooling and the rush to backstory a champion

This post is a follow-up to “Joseph Schooling and the politics of belonging in Singapore“, posted on 13th August 2016, 1155hrs, GMT+8.

It has been roughly 36 hours since Joseph Schooling won Singapore’s first gold medal at the Olympic games. Amidst this revelry, many Singaporeans have pointed out that national swimmer Yip Pin Xiu had won Singapore’s first gold medal at the 2008 Paralympics, and independent alternative media The Online Citizen has highlighted that Singaporeans’ excessive celebrations and focus on Schooling might be “insensitive” to the national athletes who are still competing in Rio.

The media reportage on Schooling’s win and construction of his backstory has been intriguing to me. I decided to do a quick analysis of the post-win narratives on Schooling by local English language mainstream news publications on their websites. Retrieved from the ‘News’ tab on Google on 14 August 2016, 2100hrs, GMT+8, the sample included AsiaOne, Channel News Asia, The New Paper, The Straits Times, TODAYonline, and Yahoo Singapore News; I excluded re-posts from foreign media. Many of these articles presented recurring themes and overlaps and are therefore attributed in the hyperlinked “source” more than once. Header image screengrabbed from Google images under the search “Joseph Schooling” on 14 August 2016, 2215hrs, GMT+8.

Continue reading Joseph Schooling and the rush to backstory a champion

Joseph Schooling and the politics of belonging in Singapore

You guys, it’s Singapore first gold Olympic medal ever and this 21yo dude beats the Olympic Record and Phelps. What is life really?

He even placed first to three pool legends tied for second.

And how does Joseph Schooling react to his historic win? This humility, amidst some unwarranted press hate of late.

Continue reading Joseph Schooling and the politics of belonging in Singapore

Singaporeans react to the National Day Parade #NDP2016 on Twitter

Singapore’s National Day Parade took place yesterday on 9th August 2016. The annual Parade took place at Kallang Stadium and was broadcast live on local free-to-air channels. The main festivities took place between 1836hrs and 2021hrs. I tracked the official #NDP2016 hashtag on Twitter between 1800hrs and 2100hrs and report on the peaks and troughs of viewers’ reactions. Screengrabs taken on 9th August 2016, between 1800hrs and 2100hrs, GMT+8.

Continue reading Singaporeans react to the National Day Parade #NDP2016 on Twitter

Project SG50+1

sg50+1 (colour)

SG50+1: Consuming and Curating Singapore

What are your most precious memories of SG50? How was your SG50+1? What will SG100 look like? Join us for an interactive exercise as we remember and imagine the past and future of our cultural landscape. Bring along a memory and an object that speaks to your experience of Singapore’s National Day celebrations. Everyone is welcome.

What? Project SG50+1
Where? The Substation 
When? 09 September 2016, Friday, 2000-2200hrs
Who? Anyone, Everyone


Crystal Abidin is an anthropologist and ethnographer. She researches vernacular internet culture and mixed heritage in contemporary societies. Crystal has a PhD in Anthropology & Sociology, and Media & Communications. She is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Sociology at the National University of Singapore, Singapore and an Affiliated Researcher with the Media Management and Transformation Center at Jönköping University, Sweden. Reach her at wishcrys.com.

Moshimoshi folks,

I’d like to invite you to attend a creative session that I will be running at The Substation in conjunction with the good folks from The Post-Museum.

Last year was the Republic of Singapore’s 50th birthday. This ignited yearlong commemorations of every incarnation, some state-sponsored, some folk-driven; some nationalistic, some subversive. These included a flurry of events, an official e-book of milestones, corporate tributes, meta recaps, and haphazard commercial branding. But how has remembering and memory changed in the digital age?

  • One year on, what do you recall about SG50? How did you celebrate it? How did you feel about the yearlong celebrations?
  • This year, how was SG50+1 any different? What did you do on National Day? What memorabilia do you have?
  • What do you think SG100 will look like? Which personalities, artefacts, events, or happenings do you think will be commemorated at SG100? How are icons made?

Please come along to our interactive session where we will brainstorm and share our thoughts in a safe and inclusive space. Everyone is invited (i.e. you don’t have to be Singaporean to attend!)

Do bring along any item related to National Day or Singapore that is of significance to you for a mini show&tell session, as well as any National Day or Singapore-related stories you would like to share.

Light refreshments will be provided.

See you there!

PS: Do feel free to circulate this widely.

15August 2016 update:
Register here – http://peatix.com/event/191569