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Title: (Un)Dead expressions of a state-sanitized imagination : an untombing of the implications and symbolic significance behind Singapore's literary ghosts
Authors: Muhammad Zhafri Abdul Rahman
Keywords: DRNTU::Humanities
Issue Date: 2016
Abstract: Ghosts are not really fond of Singaporeans. Ghosts are also not really fond of things more frightening than themselves, such as Singapore. While popular media has them appearing before people “in a gory form”(Hutchings 90), the ghosts that will be analysed in this project appear more as victims of state ideology. In fact, the ghosts analysed in this project do not even adhere to strictly traditional definitions of ghost horror - they do not explicitly attempt to frighten, but that is not to say the prospects of what they could symbolise are not frightening. Such an evolution in the depiction of ghosts is symptomatic of contemporary anxieties - Kaminsky posits that “horror films are overwhelmingly concerned with the fear of death and loss of identity” (111) - but here it also includes the fearful conditions one has to live with. The overarching concern of this project is to analyse the relationship between Singapore’s narrative of progress and the ghosts that result from it. It will be analysed in accordance to these three main aspects : architectural, social and cultural - and in that particular order. The project begins with architecture because the state’s ideology “takes concrete expression in the HDB apartment block”(Tan 200). Embedded in those concrete walls the first ghost haunts are the very foundational logic of ‘hard’ rationality that in turn, paves way for the ghosts analysed in the remaining two sections - ghosts that do not manifest but do not disappear all the same. What then gives them their grit? Their, ‘never-say-die’ spirit? With that as a basis, the analysis launches into the remaining two ghosts as expressions of a state-sanitized imagination through social and cultural aspects. Texts Analysed : 12 Storeys (Directed by Eric Khoo), "A Pontianak Story" and "A Toyol Story" by Alfian Saat
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:HSS Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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