TFOOPFest: History In A Different Light

The Future Of Our Pasts Festival – better known as TFOOPFest – took place till 17 March at various locations around the city. Organised by Yale-NUS College, the festival featured a line-up of 11 multidisciplinary projects created by young local artists and cultural advocates in hopes of engaging and inspiring audiences to explore the lesser-known narratives of Singapore’s communities and history.

TFOOPFest - exhibit preview entrance

Held in support of the Singapore Bicentennial, TFOOPFest prompted audiences to explore different narratives through the various programmes available, including installations, interactive musical and theatrical performances, as well as film screenings.

Here were some of the programmes TFOOPFest offered.

Rojak Romance

TFOOPFest - rojak romance

A documentary film that chronicling the story of a young mixed-race couple, comprising of a Malaysian Ceylonese Tamil man and a Chinese American woman. The film explores the couple’s journey as they examine how to exist as a mixed-race couple within Singapore’s Chinese-Malay-Indian-Others (CMIO) framework.

Boka Di Stori

TFOOPFest - boka di stori

Boka di Stori launched Ki Sorti – Singapore’s first graphic novel about local Eurasian history, culture and identity – on March 1 2019. ‘Boka di Stori’ is a Kristang phrase which directly translates to ‘Mouth of Stories’, and also means ‘Storyteller’.

Inspired by elderly members of the Kristang community, the graphic novel follows Alex and Patricia, a mother and daughter pair who reconnect with their Eurasian roots at the funeral of a relative.



Giving audiences a chance to revisit and reimagine historical events and places, MEANTIME, held at SPRMRKT, echoed the themes of romance and relationships. MEANTIME is an independent zine spotlighting love stories from Singapore’s pasts. Imbued with a dose of fiction, the zine revisits historical events and places in Singapore through the stories of real-life, older couples who met in the country.

First Storeys

TFOOPFest - first storeys

First Storeys, a speculative theatrical installation, investigates the ‘kampung to metropolis’ narrative, focusing on the period of large-scale resettlement in Singapore from the 1950s to the 1990s. Through a speculative theatrical installation, audiences were invited to participate in an interactive journey to uncover stories of Resettlement Officers, issues that arose during the resettlement period, and reactions of members of the public to the first Housing and Development Board (HDB) projects.

For more details on TFOOPFest and other programmes, visit

Photos by Goh Jing Wen of the DANAMIC team.

Deepa d/o Chevi Vadivelu

Animal and music lover, bookworm and movie enthusiast. #blackismyhappycolour

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