Oppy – Aunty Theresa’s story

Aunty Theresa’s story

I remember talking to Aunty Lalitha on the streets about my project and Aunty Theresa who was walking her dog back then overheard bits of our conversation on Opera Estate’s history. She started joining our conversation and animatedly shared her stories growing up in this estate back in the 60s.

I thought what was interesting about my public intervention at Siglap Linear Park were the organic and unexpected connections I made. I grew up here but never felt that rooted or connected to the local community. Doing this project was like going down Alice’s rabbit hole – there were so many interesting stories when I dug deeper.

I hope this project would be a starting point for more local connections to be made in this neighbourhood, beyond me and my project.

Oppy – 金山寺

Jin Shan Si – Golden Mountain Temple

This temple holds many of my childhood memories. My late grandmother used to volunteer at the temple every year. This was a place of community gathering for me – lots of free food and aunties, uncles who all seemed to know my grandmother. I loved their vegetable buns and the annual event where there’d be a huge paper marché dragon boat engulfed in flames in the sea at East Coast Park.

In Search of Hope

What hope can you find when everything is fucked?

This is a film project that charts my journey in search of hope during COVID-19.

At the end of February 2020, I left France after a year of learning with climate activists and civic groups, overwhelmed with pessimism and despair. I was prepared to quit the system and find an eco-village to spend the rest of my days before one big disaster wipes us all out.

Prior to that, I spent years researching systems change and regeneration (Theory U, Sacred Economy, post-capitalism, UBI etc), which led me to switch from fashion to socially engaged arts practice and then move from the UK to France (a year of work at an NGO). At the end of the year, I accepted our impending doom and genuinely believed that the only way forward out of this mess is if we all quit cities to live in eco-villages. 

I left for North America in search of innovative practices. It was my last bit of hope in finding something innovative that we can do in cities within this system. And then COVID hit. I ended up staying in Canada a lot longer than expected amidst a whole lot of uncertainty and flight cancellations. I volunteered at people’s homes, was almost homeless at points, worked on organic farms, learned about permaculture, regenerative and restorative agriculture, change networks, co-ops, social innovation networks and various change making initiatives. In July I started a podcast documenting all these interesting conversations with people I met. This is an experimental film with edited snippets of the podcast recordings along with my narrative of this journey. 

It is about this crazy journey during COVID-19, about my search for hope but more importantly, about all these change making initiatives and actions people are taking all over the world. This is a call for action, but also an offering of various responses to our collective search for hope. This film is meant to inspire, empower and rejuvenate all those who care and to collectively take action. 

Film Festivals:

Ecocine – Festival Internacional de Cinema Ambiental e Direitos [Offical Selection]

https://ecocine.eco.br

SEA X SEA: Southeast Asia X Seattle Film Festival [Offical Selection]

Film International Storical & Short Film Festival [Offical Selection]

Zetimpuls Film Festival (Vienna, Austria)

The Lift-Off Sessions [Offical Selection]

First-Time Filmmaker Sessions [Offical Selection]