Content warning: This podcast includes references to suicide.

Shaza Ishak is the managing director of Teater Ekamatra, Singapore’s leading ethnic minority theatre company. She talks with Sean Francis Han (Wake Up Singapore) and PJ Thum about her life story and the challenges she faced as a female Indian Muslim professional in Singapore. They go into detail about Teater Ekamatra, minority representation, and its unique role in Singapore; and, more broadly, the role and sustainability of the arts in the country, and how it can survive and adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To learn more and support Teater Ekamatra, please visit

This episode is a collaboration with Wake Up, Singapore. You can find out more about them online on their website, Facebook and Instagram.

Thum Ping Tjin (“PJ”) is Managing Director of New Naratif and a historian at the University of Oxford. A Rhodes Scholar, Commonwealth Scholar, Olympic athlete, and the only Singaporean to swim the English Channel, his work centres on Southeast Asian governance and politics. His most recent work is Living with Myths in Singapore (Ethos: 2017, co-edited with Loh Kah Seng and Jack Chia). Reach him at

Sean Francis Han is editor-in-chief at Wake Up Singapore, one of Singapore's largest alternative media platforms. He has worked with civil society groups such as Project X and The Online Citizen Asia, and is currently doing an MA in Literature and Philosophy at NUS. His current work seeks to bring theory and revolutionary ideas to everyone, through reading groups, talks and other media.

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