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Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2049-3010
  • E-ISSN: 2049-3029



When Singapore embarked on its high-rise public housing scheme post World War II, citizens often bemoaned the loss of the ‘kampong spirit’, a colloquial term describing the sense of community felt while living in villages. More than 50 years on, the kampong spirit continues to inform Singapore’s nation-building plans. This article considers a community theatre project in Singapore aimed at reigniting the kampong spirit among residents from low-income neighbourhoods. The theatre project, which relied primarily on Boal’s (1974) Theatre of the Oppressed, sought to initiate conversations within the community in order to foster greater agency among residents. Examining the work through relevant frameworks on belonging revealed how the project enabled the community to build and maintain connections beyond the immediate space of the theatre performances, thereby deepening the emotional and affective dimensions of belonging. Belonging becomes a force of agency when cultural citizenship is activated, and the community participants become agents for change.


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