2004 - Ask Not
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What Art Makes Possible: Remembering Forum Theatre
Sanjay Krishnan

A historical sensibility will emerge only if we learn to open ourselves to the present as historical, in all its complexity and imperfection. This requires being open to more than one way of thinking about the present and a willingness to take seriously differences of opinion. For, unlike the past, which has come to be frozen in a particular representation or idea, the present is always open to contestation and debate. When we learn to trust people to investigate the present for themselves, we simultaneously open a path back into the past, and different ways of understanding how we got to the present. This is how we restore the pulse and life-blood to history as an activity that genuinely concerns us as individuals and as a people, as something that grows and changes just as we grow and change as a nation. This open and free historical reflection is the only way to ensure that people, not least young Singaporeans, will establish a committed relation to the country. For historical reflection is that relation.