Autogenous culture as political form: explorations through participatory art in Singapore
ABSTRACT This paper presents the concept of autogenous cultural practices as a political form that is neither a subject of state practices, nor a means of resistive anti-state force. Through a study of three participatory art projects carried out by the author, this paper examines how and if autogenous culture can be presented and more importantly effect societal change. These projects were carried out in a governmental disciplinary facility, a local non-governmental organisation supporting sex workers and an independent art project with three young women who were graduates of the Normal Technical stream in Singapore respectively.
KEYWORDS: Cultural studies; incarcerated; sex workers; academic achievement; visual art; community; representation; politics
Felicia Low, a graduate of Goldsmith’s College, has been a practicing visual artist since 1999. Her projects have mostly been site-specific, performative and community-specific as she works collaboratively with different sectors of society. A Lee Kong Chien scholar of the National University of Singapore, Felicia obtained a PhD in Cultural Studies in Asia in 2015. Her research focused on the politics of participatory visual art practices with subaltern communities in Singapore. Felicia is also the founding director of a not-for-profit organization, Community Cultural Development (Singapore), which aims to provide a critical discursive platform for artistic practices that engage with communities in the region.