Confident, self-assured, poised – this is how we saw Tania De Rozario, organiser and curator of A Certain Sort of Hunger, as she took to the stage to open the evening and welcome the crowd. Riding on an exploration of the fiery, weary, and even misunderstood feminine spirit that often gets boxed in to society’s stereotypical and sometimes unforgiving constructs, five local writers gave their rendition on the theme through 13 engaging readings and performances.
Think stick-skinny standards of body shape propagated by fashion magazines, think rape that gets bypassed as mutual consent, think beauty that gets masked in a facade of make-up, and think about the vulnerable and unheard who become the ghosts of yesteryear. Many a controversial topic were wound into unpretentious prose that digs hard into what it means to be female today.
It all sounds like a serious affair, but much of the evening was interjected by peels of laughter as the writers deftly worked with minimal props and exaggerated facial expressions to bring the written word to life! Going by the titles alone, like “Pontianak Plan Parenthood”, “Keropok Aunties & Oily Men”, and “The Original Banana Tree Spirit”, you can only imagine the comedy that ensued.
The audience sat captivated, and hungered for more at curtain’s call (pun totally intended). Oh, and by feminine spirit, we meant it quite literally too.
A Certain Sort of Hunger was a well put together event, but beyond its execution we noted three things that Tania has done in being purposeful about building a community around her event.
1. Care is in the little details. Every person had a programme on their chairs preparing the audience for the night ahead. But what came as a pleasant, thoughtful, and unexpected gesture was a beautifully packed assortment of sweets!
2. Be authentic and approachable. At the end of the performance, all five writers stayed behind to make themselves available to chat and were all really easy to approach too! You could sense the passion they had for their work and willingness to answer questions. When asked how they managed to host the event at the Singapore Art Museum, Tania readily furnished the answer. Get to know your audience by allowing them to get to know you – building community’s a two-way street.
3. Find help where your fans are. Before the event, an open call for volunteers to help with registrations was posted onto their Facebook page. This drew in people who were equally passionate about their event, to the point that they were willing to give up time to help. Having like-minded people on your team can make all the difference to an attendee’s experience at your event. We were greeted with wide smiles at registration and upon leaving the event – how nice!
A Certain Sort of Hunger is an event by Etiquette SG, an ongoing, multidisciplinary showcase of creative work by women addressing gender as a subject of discourse. Follow them on Peatix to be kept in the loop of any upcoming events! Or sign up for our events newsletter to receive a curated list of interesting events (including ones like A Certain Sort of Hunger) right in your inbox each week.
Image Credits: Jaclyn Chan, Donna-mae Therese