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Bhumi Collective and artseen (NLB) will launch a pilot performance development programme, which will serve as a space for artists to develop new ideas while also demystifying the process of performance creation for the stage. The public will be given an opportunity to engage with how new ideas for the stage are formed, workshopped and developed through open process-making sessions and a public sharing at the culmination of the programme.

Through this programme, Bhumi Collective is also searching for artists and their ideas, whom align with their vision, in hopes of supporting the work in the future, towards a full staging.

The programme is called Mekar (meaning “bloom” in Malay). It will run from October 2019 to March 2020 at various library spaces around Singapore.

Proposal Details

Interested participants are expected to submit a proposal for a new idea, responding to  the poem Kotaku (My City) by Mohd Naim Daipi.

The stimulus is a poem written by the late teacher and poet, Mohd Naim Daipi. It is taken from the poetry anthology Sikit-Sikit Lama-Lama Jadi Bukit by Annaliza Bakri, published by Math Paper Press.

In this Bicentennial year, there have been and there will be various works of art addressing our nation’s history. There will be discussions and disagreements as we reflect on the happenings over many centuries. While we grapple with our city’s history, we continue to grapple with the legacy we will leave behind as a people. Who are we truly? What is this city? Why is this city?

But despite all these, the city remains. It is here and it has always been, here.

We invite artists from all mediums and forms to meditate on the writings of Mohd Naim Daipi while remaining forward-looking as we look towards our city of tomorrow.


What else is left to say?

In addition to the stimulus above, the idea must:

  • be new and not have been presented in any form before

  • not have undergone development with any other organisation before

  • be aligned with Bhumi Collective’s vision -


  • Individuals or collectives may apply

  • No prior experience in the performing arts is required

  • Applicants must be able commit to the entire duration of the programme

  • Applicants and team members must be available for a public showcase sharing on either set of dates: 20th & 21st March 2020 / 27th & 28th March 2020.

Programme Package and Deliverables

Through this Open Call, we are looking for up to 5 artists/projects.

Selected participants will be provided with the following:

  • Up to 120 hours of space for development, spread across October 2019 to March 2020

  • An industry mentor

  • Creative advice from our Joint Artistic Director, Soultari Amin Farid

  • Producing advice from our Joint Artistic Director, Mohamad Shaifulbahri

Selected participants are expected to fulfil the following:

  • present a public showcase of idea after completion of 120-hour process

  • conduct a minimum of 4 open process-making sessions to the public

  • bear any costs associated with the realisation of the development

  • credit The Mekar Programme by Bhumi Collective in all future materials in the event the project is not produced by Bhumi Collective.

  • credit National Library Board in future materials, so long as the content remains unchanged from what is presented during the public showcase. Should there be any content variation, crediting of National Library Board will be subject to NLB’s approval.

Selected participants should also note the following:

  • Public showcases staged within NLB’s premises should be suitable for general adult audiences. NLB reserves the right to request for amendments of whatever is staged within its premises, should the material be of sensitive nature.

Assessment Criteria

  • Strength and artistic merit of proposal (relevance to Open Call brief and alignment to Bhumi Collective vision)

  • Originality of idea (new idea, innovative concept)

Applications will be assessed by a panel including, Mohamad Shaifulbahri & Soultari Amin Farid (Joint Artistic Directors, Bhumi Collective), Nabilah Said (Playwright) with input from the artseen team.

Applications open from 2nd August 2019 and will close 1st September 2019 at 2359 hours. Applicants will be informed of the outcome by 9th September 2019.

To apply, please fill up the form at the following link:
*The information provided in the form will be collected by Bhumi Collective.

For enquiries, please contact us at

Kotaku by Mohd Naim Daipi

jika kau berdiri di antara perjalanan
menuju ke kota ini
perhatikan sudut kerinduan dan kemesraan

kotaku ini
tidak mampu membelai penyesalan
tidak upaya mendodoi penderitaan
setiap keringat harus berpadu bersama air mata
yang mengalir membelah pipi-pipi kesetiaan dan kedukaan
yang menyiram limpah wajah-wajah kekotoran dan keharuman

kotaku ini
menyuruh kita mengeluh
mengajar kita mengejar

An English language translation of the poem can be found below.

My City by Mohd Naim Daipi


if you stand at the crossroads
heading to the city
observe the belt of longing and intimacy

my city
could afford to caress regret
unable to cradle suffering
every bead of sweat must be merged with tears
that flow, diving down the cheeks of loyalty and grief
that flood the pathos of impurities and fragrances

my city
demands we sigh
teaches us to chase


*translated by Annaliza Bakri from the poetry anthology Sikit-Sikit Lama-Lama Jadi Bukit

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a limit to the number of applications one can submit?

No. However, lead applicants are only eligible to be selected for ONE proposal only.

Can a lead applicant of one proposal be a team member of a different proposal?


I have an existing script / I have presented a short work-in-progress version of the idea before. Am I eligible for the programme?

No. Only new ideas, responding to the details outlined in the Open Call Guidelines above, are eligible to apply.

Will selected applicants be receiving monetary support in any form for the programme?

Applicants are expected to bear any costs associated with the realisation of the development. Selected applicants may receive a small token to help realise the public showcase, depending on the requirements of the work.

What are the expectations of the Open Sharing Sessions to the public?

Selected applicants will undergo a briefing with the Bhumi Collective and artseen team to discuss the expectations of the Open Sharing Sessions as this may vary from project to project.

Is the timeframe of the project negotiable?

Selected applicants must utilise the 120 hours within the period of October 2019 to March 2020. The closed-door sessions will be held on weekdays from 9am to 6pm, while the open process-making sessions will be held on weekday nights.

When will the final public sharing take place?

This will take place in March 2020 – the tentative dates are 20th & 21st March 2020 OR 27th & 28th March 2020. Lead applicant and team members must be able to commit to a presentation on the aforementioned dates.

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