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Theatres of History and Memory


Our project placed emphasis on Singaporeans’ lived experiences and recollections. Singapore’s industrial heritage is a ‘theatre of memory’, where long-demolished places have remained vivid and meaningful to former employees.


This translates largely into intangible cultural heritage, in line with the 2018 SG Heritage Plan, which celebrates Singapore’s tangible and intangible heritage as being embedded in people’s lives.


Industrial memories chart ‘big narratives’ of people’s lived experiences. The big narratives encompass people’s aspirations, pride in industrial work, relationships with co-workers, and accommodation of work and family, especially among the substantial female workforce.


Also important are people’s recollections of the miniature of work; industrial sites, sights and smells; their technical learning and training, and memorable Made-in-Singapore products.


Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Heritage Board, Singapore.

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