As the arts world shifts towards the digital during this time of social distancing, The Arts House looks to connect writers remotely but intimately through a series of writing workshops. Titled the Write From Home Workshops, the series commences on 9th May, and features local authors Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé, Gwee Li Sui, and Melissa De Silva each leading workshops exploring writing as a medium to grapple with the unusual, uncomfortable, and difficult experience of social isolation while creating a shared space for writers to connect.
Says Senior Programmer Lisa Lip: “I’ve never thought deeply about my mental health but having had to work from home and being alone almost 3 weeks before the circuit-breaker period, I’ve realised how precious and fragile it can be. This made me think more of others who are struggling alone too and on the flip side those stressed with having others in their space all day. I hope that by coming to learn and write together, it will help people cope better as we create a micro-community online for those feeling really isolated and stressed.”
While societies around the world find new ways to navigate the need for social contact and sense of community, poet and fictionist Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé kickstarts this series with Creativity Under Constraint: Finding Peace in Isolation. Explore how the experience of isolation can be confounding yet comforting in its ubiquity as other writers share the struggles they face in solitude. No stranger to writing about difficult subjects, join Kon as he demonstrates how challenging situations can be translated into powerful writing.
As a respite to the disenchanting reality around us, the need for humour is now more apparent than ever. In Funny Not Funny: Writing Humour, take your writing on a comedic spin as poet, graphic artist, and literary critic Gwee Li Sui breaks down the basics of writing a gag. Come armed with a ready pen and a quick wit in this session as you spread laughter in the way that it should—with others.
Lastly, Singapore Literature Prize-Winning author Melissa De Silva brings us a three-session workshop that invites us to connect with others and, most importantly, ourselves. Step Inside: Documenting Our Interior Journey in an Unusual Time dares writers to introspect and embrace the complicated emotions that come with trying to make sense of these strange circumstances. Exploring the topics of ‘dark’ emotions, unexpected experiences, and adaptation and resilience, join De Silva and other writers over the month of May as navigators of this unusual time.
The Arts House’s Write From Home Workshops will take place online via Zoom from 9th to 23rd May 2020. Tickets available here