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The first ever Global Migrant Festival (GMF) will be held in Singapore on 15th and 16th December 2018.

December 03
21:26 2018

The GMF is a festival with cultural performances, talks and panel discussions, involving artists from low-wage economic migrants and refugee communities from across Asia and the World, academic experts on migrant issues and advocates from relevant non-profit organizations. Films on the topic of migration will also be a part of GMF.

The festival is being organized by a group of volunteers with support from the Embassy of the United States in Singapore. Other supporters include the National Gallery, The Arts House, Singlit Station, Singapore Book Council, and FilmAid.

Shivaji Das, the conceptualizer and lead organizer for GMF, said, “We believe such a festival has become particularly relevant given that regular and irregular migration has become one of the defining trend and issues in current times with significant social, cultural, economic and political implications for both host and source countries. And Singapore is a particularly apt location for this festival given its history and current position as a global confluence of people, culture and businesses.”

Other organizers involved include local and migrant artists such as Vishal Daryanomel, Daniela Monasterios Tan, Yolanda Miaomiao Yu, Rolinda O Espanola, Deesha Menon, Yu Jing Mak, Stephanie Siow, Amit Agarwal, Carissa Cheow, Theophilus Kwek and Alvin Pang.

The expected participants at GMF include noted Chinese poet Zheng Xiaoqiong who began as a domestic migrant worker, Samsul Said of Malaysia who won the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards for his work on Rohingya Refugees, and Indonesian poet Lintang Panjer Sore who ran a library for domestic helpers in Hong Kong.

Cheng Chang, a participant, who is the co-founder of the Taiwan Literature Award for Migrants, said, “Migrants are the muscle of a city allowing cities to operate while creating their future. Refugees are the tears of this world. Their eyes are full of sadness but they also see hope. I am so glad that we are having this Global Migrant Festival in Singapore. I look forward to joining this great gathering to feel the joy, sadness, and strength from all over the world.”

The finals of the acclaimed annual Migrant Worker Poetry Competition – Singapore will be held as part of this festival. Following its debut in 2014, a number of previous contestants at this unique competition have gone on to showcase their work in Singapore’s literary scene, participating and collaborating with fellow artists in events such as the Singapore Writers Festival. Similar events have been conducted in recent years in Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Kenya; winners and participants from these editions will also be visiting Singapore to participate at GMF.

Through this event and other sister events at various locations, GMF seeks to promote multiculturalism, provide a platform to low wage migrant workers and refugees to have their voices heard, discuss some of the key issues e.g. health, economics, safety, gender relations etc. in the context of migration, and foster a broader and critical dialogue in context of an often vitriolic narrative that has dominated migration related discussions worldwide. The organizers hope to hold the festival every two years.

For enquiries visit or contact: [email protected] 

Media Contact
Company Name: Global Migrant Festival
Contact Person: Shivaji Das
Email: Send Email
Phone: +65 98529605
Address:1 St Andrew\’s Rd
City: Singapore 178957
Country: Singapore