The Build-A-Bridge project: Connecting communities through art

Through art and the Build-A-Bridge project, stronger ties of understanding, appreciation and connection were built in the community.

“Art speaks where words are unable to explain.” – Mathiole

The virtual HERE! Arts Carnival 2020 by the NUS Centre For the Arts (CFA) showcased various talents from 21 student arts groups in music, dance, theatre and film. Among the performances held was the Build-A-Bridge project to promote stronger ties of understanding, appreciation and community in Singapore.  

A collaboration between photographers from the migrant workers’ community and students from dance, music and theatre groups, Build-A-Bridge provided a platform to foster connections between the artists from different communities.

Inspired by photographs and accompanying stories of migrant artists, students and alumni created a wide range of performances through their various art forms.

“When we were conceiving the HERE! Arts Carnival’s online edition, we wanted to create projects that would connect people in these socially distanced times. One of the communities that we felt was particularly significant to reach was our migrant workers – to let them know that they are not alone,” said CFA Associate Director Jobina Tan, who is also the HERE! Arts Carnival 2020 Director.

Migrant worker Jean Ragual shared that the Build-A-Bridge project enabled both migrant and local communities to share their ideas, talents and stories through art. “The project was a starting point to build the relationship between communities through a greater understanding of our lives,” noted Ms Ragual.

She submitted a photograph titled ‘Our Future’, which represented her aspirations for a better future in both her home country and in Singapore.

Our Future (resized).jpg

Ms Ragual’s submission, titled ‘Our Future’.

In an audio-visual presentation titled ‘Hand in Hand’ that was inspired by the photograph ‘Our Future’, the NUS Electronic Music Lab explored the relationship between the physical and digital spaces.

“Our lives are a constant negotiation with space and distance, even more so in our current times. What really drove us to participate in this project was the prospect of being able to work together on a piece of art collaboratively, in spite of our physical distances,” said President of NUS Electronic Music Lab Tan E-Reng, a Year 2 NUS Arts and Sciences student.

The theme for this year’s HERE! Arts Carnival, ‘In the Space Between’, summed it up for both migrant and student artists that through the arts, the space between individuals can be closed.

More than 300 students, alumni, staff and external attendees participated in this year’s HERE! Arts Carnival.


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