Civilian War Memorial, Singapore - Part One

Ed, Hamzah and Daniel discuss the origins of the Civilian War Memorial and the reasons behind its construction in 1967. Further to this, they analyse why the memorial is dedicated to the four main ethnic groups of Singapore, when initially the purpose of the memorial was to remember those Chinese civilians killed in the Sook Ching Massacre.

Civilian War Memorial, Singapore - Part Two

Daniel, Ed and Hamzah compare how the war memorials in Singapore and Hong Kong differ quite dramatically and in turn question how the de-colonisaton process in both countries may have shaped these variations. Moving on from this, the trio describes how the construction of the Civilian War Memorial was one of the first efforts by the Singapore Government to integrate the Japanese Occupation into the national history of Singapore. Finally, attention is given to the architectural features of the memorial and how they are symbolic of Singapore unifying as a nation post-war and post-independence.

Civilian War Memorial, Singapore - Part Three

Hamzah, Ed and Daniel reflect on how the memorial is used as a site of remembrance, both in the present day and when it was erected, and what types of remembrance ceremonies take place onsite. Further to this, they discuss how the site holds religious meaning for some groups of civilians, as it is the final resting place for many Chinese people killed in the Sook Ching Massacre. Lastly, the group debate the role of the State in remembering World War II and how their agenda has influenced the ways in which commemoration takes place at the Civilian War Memorial.

Civilian War Memorial, Singapore - Part Four

Daniel, Ed and Hamzah describe the grassroots anger that arose towards the Japanese during the 1960s, especially in the form of demonstrations that took place to demand financial reparations. The group provides further historical details regarding the ways in which Singapore received some form of reparations, and concludes by reflecting on whether the memorial was a compromise between demanding further financial reparations and remembering the victims of the Japanese occupation.

Civilian War Memorial, Singapore - Part Five

Ed, Hamzah and Daniel question what the Civilian War Memorial means for local Singaporeans today, with the consensus being that it still holds a significant place for many locals commemorating World War II. Following on from this, the group analyses the ways the State and the media embed the symbolic imagery of the memorial into national military and education programs to promote the ideals of national unification and a strong militaristic Singapore. Lastly, they discuss the younger generations interpretation of the memorial and the ways in which school kids are taught to remember World War II and the Japanese occupation of Singapore.

Singapore Cenotaph - Part One

Hamzah, Daniel and Ed discuss the history of the Singapore Cenotaph and the wider history behind the construction of cenotaphs in Britain and the British colonies following World War I. The group continues to compare the erection of cenotaphs in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore and the current day politics associated with local commemoration.

Singapore Cenotaph - Part Two

Daniel, Hamzah and Ed reflect on how the Singapore Cenotaph was altered post World War II and the process that involved both the local British Government and Singporean citizens. The trio raises questions about why there was little feedback from the local community in regards to the proposed alterations and how this influenced the final changes to the memorial in the 1950s.

Singapore Cenotaph - Part Three

Ed, Hamzah and Daniel analyse the relevance of cenotaphs in today’s society, especially within the context of Singapore. Further to this they describe the various ceremonies that take place at the cenotaph, for the most part, foreign commemoration services for British and Australian groups. Lastly the group questions the variance of dates which are commemorated on memorials and how the chosen dates are influenced by which groups are involved in the funding process and what aspects of the war they are wanting to remember.

Singapore Cenotaph - Part Four

Hamzah, Daniel and Ed consider how the various monuments in Esplanade Park work as different layers of memorial space coming together to reflect specific local groups attitudes to war commemoration. Further to this, they debate how individual memorials are erected at certain times to express varying political or nationalist ideals, and in the case of Singapore, why certain memorials have been approved and other have not is a reflection of the current governments attitude to aspects of national identity.

Former Ford Factory, Singapore - Part One

Ed and Daniel visit the Former Ford Factory and describe their first impressions, in particular the newly renovated exhibition space. Daniel reflects on how the focus of the exhibitions have shifted overtime, and together they question why the new interpretative space tends to focus more heavily on the post-war period, including the Singaporean independence movement, which the museum argues began at the British surrender to the Japanese in 1942.

Former Ford Factory, Singapore - Part Two

Daniel and Ed discuss the controversy surrounding the museums name change in recent months and question why there was such a public outcry over the chosen name (which has now been changed). Following on from this they analyse the use of interactive role play scenarios within the exhibition space and discuss how visitors would respond to the various stories presented.

Former Ford Factory, Singapore - Part Three

Ed and Daniel question the content of the exhibition and debate why the interpretation avoids singling out any one group for criticism. They provide a brief comparison with the National Museum of Singapore’s current exhibition on the fall of Singapore and explore the differences and similarities in messages each exhibition presents. Finally, they touch upon the inclusion of the Indian National Army and the Malaysian People’s Anti Japanese Army within the exhibition, and discuss how the interpretation of certain aspects of the war can change over time.