The past few weeks have been sometimes strange and sometimes alarming. As COVID-19 swept through the world, I realised that among the heroic narratives and heartbreaking tales, it was difficult to protect the smaller things, the everyday things, the mundane. With that in mind, I am inviting you to make a small submission to Dorscon Document, a type of participatory literary assemblage that I am putting together as a record of these pandemic days in Singapore.
Essentially, the idea is a kind of polyphonic essay, where short submissions of a variety of forms—writing, photography, illustration, design, sound, video—are interposed within or juxtaposed against a longer text, combining multiple voices and blending several genres to produce a Singaporean document of responses to these troubled times. The project will be housed here on my website, where it can be freely accessed.
I will feature these submissions across five sections. Some possible directions include: How has the outbreak affected your daily life, your work, or those around you? How have your experience of time, space, and the borders between people changed? What has got you through more testing moments? What challenges does your community face? Is there a story of someone you think deserves to be told? Is there something you want to say to someone?
Send in vignettes of your daily life, a meditation about the Causeway, a recipe for a dish that has helped your morale, a diagram of changing social practices, thoughts on memes, a portrait of the daily commute, a conversation with a friend, an exchange of correspondence with me, a card game you invented while staying indoors, a story about the industry you work in, a response to staying at home and distancing socially, a personal memory from long ago that has been resurfacing over and over in these difficult times.
Of course, don’t feel constrained by these suggestions. Create something that speaks for you, but also for the things that you care about. I am certainly happy to work with you on developing any ideas you have for this if you prefer too. And while the project focuses on the city I call home, I will certainly consider anything from anywhere across the globe as long as there is a connection to Singapore (geographically or personally).
All genres of creative work are acceptable. Once again, they should be small, and while I don’t have a guideline for every genre, a good estimation would be 150-500 words of prose or a comparably sized poem. If you are creating something that is not text-based, use this as an abstract basis of a sort. If it is image-based, maybe a single photograph or an illustration would make the most sense, for instance. If you would like to submit more than one entry (whether a series or separate pieces), or even take up one section as the glue holding the other pieces together, I’d be happy to discuss that too.
Please send along your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org as an attachment along with a biography of one or two sentences (if you’d like to remain anonymous, you can let me know too), and also the date when the piece was created. As it is something of an evolving archive, parts of this project will be published as the project develops, and I will accept submissions on a rolling basis. (I’m hoping to launch the initial phase sometime in April 2020.)
I look forward to your submissions, and hope we will be able to create a unique document of our times together.
[Orange logo by Yang Yang.]
What are you looking for?
Short creative submissions for an experimental essay responding to the COVID-19 crisis, with a connection to Singapore. (International submissions welcome!)
What genres are permitted?
More or less anything! Writing, photography, design, sound, video, charts, comics, recipes…
Sounds like a lot of work…
It doesn’t have to be! A paragraph, a doodle, a 30-second audio clip. We like small things.
Will it just be a collection of stuff?
Even more than that! I’ll actually write around/alongside submissions and make it all one coherent essay of a sort, freely available on my website.
Is there a deadline?
Not right now! Rolling basis, with the first instance launching in April, and continuing to be developed as more submissions come in.
Hello! Welcome to Dorscon Document, my currently ongoing participatory and mainly literary project about COVID-19 that aims to create a polyphonic essay by integrating submissions from various contributors. With it, I hope that it will serve as some kind of document for the crisis while serving to connect people in some way. (More details in the introduction/first part!)
This is a developing project! As more contributions come in, as I work on it more, as the crisis develops, it will change, so do keep an eye out for future updates and additions as this project continues to grow. If you'd like to contribute something small to this effort (and I encourage you to), please check out the Call for Submissions below!
The currently release parts are: