Documentation, Restoration and Repatriation? Reflections on a dance film screening for the ‘Bali 1928’ project

Bali 1928 is an ongoing international and interdisciplinary project established by American ethnomusicologist Edward Herbst in 2002 to “research, find, understand, document, explain, restore, re-release, and repatriate the first published recordings of music in Bali along with rare film footage and photographs of musicians and dance-drama performances from the 1930s”. With support from the Sydney Southeast … Continue reading Documentation, Restoration and Repatriation? Reflections on a dance film screening for the ‘Bali 1928’ project

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PoP x New Mandala

Just over 18 months ago, the Perspectives on the Past blog was born. Its mission is to bring new topics and perspectives on the Southeast Asian past to interested readers. Grounded in research, the blog's articles have covered the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Cambodia, from a wide variety of disciplinary standpoints: history, archaeology, museology, … Continue reading PoP x New Mandala

Five reasons why I don’t always like art galleries

In this ‘experiment’, four members of Perspectives of the Past visit the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) for Passion + Procession: Art of the Philippines and write four mini-reviews about their experience based on their diverse backgrounds (museum and heritage studies, performance studies, history and archaeology). We publish the four reviews over four … Continue reading Five reasons why I don’t always like art galleries

To infinity and beyond: the Singapore History Gallery (review)

The Singapore History Gallery at the National Museum of Singapore is, like any other historical exhibition, carefully staged. The production of such a place, or more accurately, the production of the experience of such a place, requires the expertise of dramatists, storytellers, scriptwriters, lighting, sound and set designers, and even actors, as Mark Ravinder Frost … Continue reading To infinity and beyond: the Singapore History Gallery (review)

Performing Heritage (or, Making Temples Great Again)

Natali Pearson, our Museum and Heritage Studies researcher, takes a look at the Obama family's recent visit to the 9th century temples of Borobudur and Prambanan in Indonesia, and muses on the mythologising of these monuments both past and present. Last week, former US President Barack Obama and his family visited Indonesia, where they followed … Continue reading Performing Heritage (or, Making Temples Great Again)

An American in Singapore: Devin Smith on the story of Lim Bo Seng

Devin Smith is an American musician/videographer who wrote to us asking if we would be interested in publishing his Medium piece on Lim Bo Seng, Singaporean resistance fighter and regarded war hero. While his piece was too long for this blog, PoP was interested in asking Devin about how he came across this topic, why … Continue reading An American in Singapore: Devin Smith on the story of Lim Bo Seng

Film review: ‘1987: Untracing the Conspiracy’ by Jason Soo and ex-political detainees

PoP’s resident oral historian Nien Yuan Cheng attended a screening of Jason Soo’s documentary 1987: Untracing the Conspiracy on 11 February 2017 at The Projector in Singapore. This is a film about 1987’s Operation Spectrum, where 22 people, accused of being involved in a ‘Marxist Conspiracy’ to overthrow the government, were detained without trial under … Continue reading Film review: ‘1987: Untracing the Conspiracy’ by Jason Soo and ex-political detainees

Pramoedya’s Message to the Youth of Indonesia

Today would have been the 92nd birthday of the late Pramoedya Ananta Toer, the most important writer in Indonesia. His stature as a leading artist and his leftist politics led to his persecution by the Army-led government of Suharto. International audiences tended to focus on his imprisonment on Buru island between 1969 and 1979, during which he produced four novels … Continue reading Pramoedya’s Message to the Youth of Indonesia