Festival Info

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M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2023

What We Have Achieved Thus Far

Over the past 17 years, the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival has been an important arts and cultural event. We present creative, exciting new works.

The works are carefully chosen around a theme for the year. These themes are urgent issues.

We focus on social engagement. We want the Fringe to show meaningful and challenging art. These are works that help us think more deeply about how we are linked to one another in this complex world.

Where We Are Today

Throughout history, art has always helped us to:

  1. Understand why urgent issues happen
  2. Express why we are unhappy
  3. Find ways to solve the problems for the future

Recently, there are many big urgent issues in the world. These include social, economic, health and environmental issues.

Because of these, we ask ourselves,

  • What does it mean when we say we are a socially-engaged festival?
  • What can the Fringe do to encourage more open discussion?
  • How can we work together and create new things, and can still relate to what is happening now?
  • How can we use art to do good, educate people and get people to think and discuss social issues?
  • Can the Fringe help people who are being excluded to speak up to society?
  • Can we help both artist and audience to make positive change?

What We Are Changing

There are many urgent issues happening everyday. We used to have only one theme each year, but we feel it is now the right time to have more options.

We want to hear what artists care about in the world today. Does your idea fight the problem or help people to feel better? Your idea can also be a way to have a better different future.

For the first time, the Fringe will not provide a theme to choose the works. Instead, we want artists to tell your stories the way you want to. Through this, we hope you can shape the discussions that the Fringe offers to the public.

We still focus on presenting work that engages socially. That means we are looking for strong artistic processes and accessible forms. They focus on responding to problems faced by communities. They involve working with others to solve issues happening today.

Without a set theme, this also means artists do not need to change the meaning behind their work to fit the theme. The discussion with artists and audience can become more real. We can understand one another better in these difficult times.

We are looking for creative, exciting new works that engage people socially. These can be presented as live or digital performances. They can also be events that other people can join in. We welcome proposals that are presented differently. This can allow the disabled and those with low immune systems to join us. This can also encourage actions that are better for the climate, and/or to reduce air travel.

M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2023
4 to 15 January
Get involved

M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2023

What We Have Achieved Thus Far

Over the past 17 years, the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival has been a key event in Singapore’s arts and cultural calendar, presenting cutting edge, contemporary work curated around a specific theme chosen for the year. We had consciously selected themes that reflect what we regard to be urgent issues of the day. As a festival that prioritises social engagement, we had aimed for the Fringe to be a platform for meaningful and provocative art, to engage our increasingly connected and complex world.

Where We Are Today

Throughout history, art has always responded to such issues, not only to investigate its causes, but also to express outrage, as well as offer alternatives for the future.

It is undeniable that in recent times, the world has witnessed a confluence of crucial and pressing issues—social, economic, political, health, and environmental—all of which have resulted in a perfect storm of crises that question the very fabric of society and our existence.

This has led us to reflect on some important questions. What does it mean when we say we are a socially-engaged festival? What role can the Fringe play to further encourage open debate, collaboration and innovation, whilst being relevant to the times? What is the intersection between art, activism, education and social engagement? Can the Fringe better amplify voices of the disprivileged and marginalised, and through the creative process, propel artist and audience alike towards positive change?

What We Are Changing

Given the multiple crises mounting by the day, rather than highlighting a single curatorial theme for the Fringe, we feel the time is ripe for us to open the platform up more fully.

We want to hear what artists are concerned with in the world today, and how your artistic response is a call to arms, a healing process, or a road map to a different, better future.

For the first time, the Fringe will not provide a curatorial theme to determine our programming. Instead, we want artists to tell your stories with authenticity, and in doing so, shape the conversations that the Fringe offers to the public. Our focus on presenting work fuelled by socially engaged practice remains. That means we are looking for robust artistic processes and accessible presentations that are centred on responding to gaps in communities, collaborative, and tackling current issues of the day.

Without a predetermined curatorial theme, this also means artists will no longer be burdened with the need to contort the rationale behind their work to fit the theme. This in turn should allow for more honesty—both in our discourse amongst artists and with audiences—and engender shared understandings as we navigate this increasingly fraught and fragmented world we live in. We are looking for contemporary, cutting edge and socially engaged works that can be presented as live or digital performances and participatory events. We welcome proposals that use alternative models of presentations to include the disabled and immunocompromised, to encourage environmental sustainability, and/or to reduce air travel.

M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2023
4 to 15 January
Get involved
Photo by Mish’aal Nasar