2001 - The Programme Issue 3
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The Necessary Community Festival

Do you feel it's incongruent for a foreigner such as yourself to be heading a festival that has a strong local flavour?

Sean Tobin: As a foreigner who is very much part of every day Singapore, I spend most of my time with Singaporeans, soak myself in many Singaporean concerns. it's a culture which I now call my own ever since I lived her for the past 7 years. But I shall not pretend to be a true blue Singaporean. My perspective will always be that of an alien who has settled here. But I can learn more about the culture by asking, by listening, by watching, by trying not to judge too fast. I'm just as 'uprooted and searching' as many Singaporeans. I come from Australia, another 'British colony' which has struggled for a long time for independence and identity. I'm Irish in descent but am quite orphaned from it. In that sense, I just uprooted myself again and came searching in Singapore.