What are the meanings of being "good"? Aram, a Tamil word, zeroes in on the universal ethical concept. A term with rich connotations, it exhorts us to ask tough questions regarding conscience, virtue, and societal values. It envisions an ideal which humanity can aspire to -- in thought, words and actions. Aram is mentioned in the ancient Thirukkural (1st-3rd century B.C), widely revered as the most influential work in Tamil. The Singapore Writers Festival investigates this common creed and how it can help one to navigate the trials and tribulations in an increasingly complex world.
The Singapore Writers Festival started in 1986 as a biennial festival. Now held yearly, the festival is a much anticipated event on the cultural calendar, presenting the world's major literary talents to Singaporeans while shining a spotlight on home grown and Southeast Asian creative talents. Over the years, the Festival has become an exciting meeting point of writers, academics and thinkers in a choice spread of panel discussions, workshops, lectures and performances in 10 days. It has hosted literati the likes of Nobel Prize winner Gao Xingjian, Whitbread Book Awards First Novel winner Tash Aw, British poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Nebula winner Neil Gaiman and Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cunningham.
The Singapore Writers Festival is one of the few multi-lingual literary festivals in the world, celebrating the written and spoken word in Singapore's official languages – English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil. This year, the Festival will be housed in the Civic District amongst historic buildings such as The Arts House, The National Gallery and the Asian Civilisations Museum.