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Alfian Sa'at, Faris Joraimi and Sai Siew Min

Raffles Renounced: Towards a Merdeka History

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Edited by Alfian Sa'at, Faros Joraimi and Sai Siew Min

An illuminating collection of essays that examine the histories we construct, and ask essential and difficult questions about them.

Format: Paperback
Pages: 280


Why did independent Singapore celebrate two hundred years of its founding as a British colony in 2019? What does Merdeka mean for Singaporeans? And what are the possibilities of doing decolonial history in Singapore?

Raffles Renounced: Towards a Merdeka History presents essays by historians, literary scholars and artists which grapple with these questions. The volume also reproduces some of the source material used in the play Merdeka / 獨立 / சுதந்திரம் (Wild Rice, 2019).

Taken together, the book shows how the contradictions of independent nationhood haunt Singaporeans' collective and personal stories about Merdeka. It points to the need for a Merdeka history: an open and fearless culture of historical reckoning that not only untangles us from colonial narratives, but proposes emancipatory possibilities. 

Read if you: are guilty of putting people on a pedestal.