Year 3 Top Essays
Palimpsest - Here, Now
by Devi Shree D/o MALARVANAN
This essay challenges the views of Rem Koolhaas on the topic of a Singapore Utopia. A civilization so bound on rapid development, construction and the creation of a modern civilization that it automatically starts absolving itself from all forms of traditional culture, conversation and the traditional ‘Kampong Sprit’. This is Tabula Rasa.
Palimpsest, on the other hand, is the salvation of culture and conversation. The arguments that Singapore has emerged from this rampant modernization since its independence not as a classless utopia; but rather a city experiencing a rebirth of tradition cultures and conversation thanks to its urban development policies and the handwork of its citizens. Coffee shops/Kopitiams, void deck Malay weddings, Little India are set as examples of Palimpsest.
So have we achieved Palimpsest at all? Or have some cultures been truly lost to modernization?