Raffles Renounced: Towards a Merdeka History
edited by Alfian Sa’at, Faris Joraimi, Sai Siew Min
Why did independent Singapore celebrate two hundred years of its founding as a British colony in 2019? What does Merdeka mean for Singaporeans? And what are the possibilities of doing decolonial history in Singapore? Raffles Renounced: Towards a Merdeka History presents essays by historians, literary scholars and artists which grapple with these questions. The volume also reproduces some of the source material used in the play Merdeka / 獨立 / சுதந்திரம் (Wild Rice, 2019). Taken together, the book shows how the contradictions of independent nationhood haunt Singaporeans' collective and personal stories about Merdeka. It points to the need for a Merdeka history: an open and fearless culture of historical reckoning that not only untangles us from colonial narratives, but proposes emancipatory possibilities.
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