Displaced Persons’ Welcome Dinner: a play by Checkpoint Theatre

25 May, 2020

Photo: SIFA

In 2019 the Singapore International Festival of the Arts (SIFA), previously known as the Singapore Festival of the Arts, marked its 32nd year ever since its establishment as a biennial event in 1977. Taking place from 16th to 2nd June, the festival brought yet again an exciting cultural smorgasbord of performances, films, talks, workshops, installations, and multidisciplinary art. In 2019, more than 73,000 people attended SIFA, up from 55,000 attendees the previous year. These numbers reflect a growing public interest in the arts and the collective nurturing of a vibrant arts scene in Singapore.

Today we feature a multidisciplinary theatrical work titled Displaced Persons’ Welcome Dinner (Checkpoint Theatre, 2019), a SIFA-commissioned piece written by Mr Huzir Sulaiman, a former NUS FASS faculty member (Department of English Language and Literature) now currently teaching in the NUS University Scholars Programme.  Set against the backdrop of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, the work tells the stories and shifting dynamics of seven aid workers in a refugee camp, one of whom is a Singaporean. Performed at last year’s iteration of SIFA, Displaced Persons’ Welcome Dinner examines the heroism and personal trauma of humanitarian workers, and illustrates their struggles to cope in the face of larger chaos and corruption.

More details on the work can be found here.