1After320 film program / Boo Junfeng

Details: The 2016 Season of the 1After320 Film Program, Presents ‘Happy and Free', an interactive installation by artist Boo Junfeng as part of the 1After320 Film Program from April-May 2016 where we focus on South East Asia, curated in collaboration with Bharti Lalwani.

In August 2015, Singapore celebrated its 50th anniversary as an independent nation since its separation from Malaya in 1965. Amid celebrations and reinforcements of the ruling party's singular narrative of historic events, Singaporean film-maker Boo Junfeng explores an alternate time-line wherein the island-state remains part of Malaysia. 'Happy and Free' (2013) is based on an actual song bearing the same title that was commissioned by the Ministry of Culture to celebrate the Merger in 1963. The lyric, based on a well sung folk-tune, glorifies a nation that stands united, equal and free. As this 'alter-nation' celebrates 50 years of the Merger, what unravels are complex  interrogations of identity tethered to constructs of nationhood; and the validity of justifications provided by Authority in the suppression of dissenting opinions and control of individual citizen's expression in order to maintain inter-ethnic, inter-faith harmony. The broader question here is if a nation where diverse view-points are debated without fear of repression would still be socially, politically and economically robust.