Singapore is changing. Our future is uncertain and our challenges are numerous. How we solve these problems is as much about what we do as it is who we are as a country. At the crossroads, we grapple with our nation’s identity and try to imagine Singapore’s future. This is our post-SG50 world, and yet, it mirrors the mood of pre-independence Singapore.

From the 1930s to 1965, discussions about modernisation, race and civic responsibility were as common as they are today. The youth of colonial Singapore wrote passionately about these issues, seeking to enkindle the idea of a nation that did not yet exist. Student publications like The Malayan Undergrad, The New Cauldron and The Malayan Orchard facilitated their dedication and literature became the avenue of our national imagination.

50 years after independence, the substance of our nation continues to be a subject of intense debate. The stories that encapsulate how we see Singapore have become more, not less, relevant. The Utama Review exists to encourage the youth of modern Singapore to build on those stories and use them to create a vision for what our nation might look like. As these historical publications were to those students of the past, we hope this anthology will also be to us – a shared space for the collective imagination of our Singapore.