After many Monday afternoons in an Ms Ashton’s English classroom, collaborating with a range of people, some who I have never seen before and some whom I see everyday, all our hard work has paid off in this day-long event.
My favourite talk was definitely SG Narratives’ Syakir Ryli. Although I do not know much about Singapore’s media and video culture, but from what Sya said it was quite similar to the one back home in Thailand. People enjoy short light-hearted videos for a small laugh or a quick break from the fast and bustling city life like Singapore. The quote used as the title of this post was very striking to me, I have never thought of myself in that way. Probably because, my whole life I have been privileged enough to live a rather comfortable life with minimal, if not, no hardships at all. What makes SG Narratives different from other content makers is that they acknowledge that we don’t always have to “pretty for camera”, we are authentic individuals who have much more interesting stories to tell. With Singapore being a melting pot of cultures of sort, people come from all walks of life and have experienced different human struggles, which brings Sya to his main point of vulnerability.
Vulnerability is the birthplace of empathy and connection if you are brave enough to use it.
At its lowest form, it inspires and invites empathy from others. At its best, it forms a bridge of polarising ideas. That exemplifies Peace by Piece for me. The awareness and knowing of vulnerability starts off with ourself as an individual. At your own pace, you start opening up to others about each others’ vulnerability. As phrased by Sya, it is the “birthplace of empathy and connection”.
On a macro scale, I think the event went smoothly, I would consider our line up of speakers successful. Each speaker brought a different perspective and interpretation of “Peace by Piece” to the table. From talking to members of the audience, they were able to expose themselves to a range of ideas they would never perhaps linked back to the idea of peace. Some said that the visual note-taking booklets helped them encapsulate the key ideas and highlights of each talk. This made me feel happy that people found them useful as we spent quite some time on them. However, in the future, there could have been better communication as the printed version of the booklets were actually templates. “Name of Speaker” and “Title of Talk” should’ve been the actual names. This would’ve avoided confusion for the audience and it can also double as the programme schedule.
From this list of skills, I think I developed my “worldliness” the most. As mentioned earlier, the range of speakers we had shone light to an array of perspectives, many of which we overlook. As an international school and a member of the United World Colleges, we tend to think big and international and sometimes neglect our geographical of Singapore. Though some talks were about other areas of the world, a lot of the talks allowed us to scale back down to this tiny island and pick up on the little details we may have overlooked.