March 2009. When 100 strangers arrive at a run-of-the-mill meeting for Singapore gender-equality group AWARE, long-time members sense that something is wrong. Who are the mysterious women wresting control of this respected volunteer organisation? And what disturbing secret unites them? What happens next becomes the stuff of national legend: starting with an astonishing coup and culminating in an extraordinary declaration of equality and justice. Welcome to the AWARE Saga.
Saga is a limited-series podcast hosted by acclaimed former journalist Bharati Jagdish.
Bonus Episode: Saga 10th Anniversary Speeches
A Saga bonus episode: On 4 May 2019 - 10 years and 2 days after the fateful Extraordinary General Meeting – 100 AWARE members came together to mark the anniversary of that pivotal event. Amid the celebration, a few key Old Guard members and supporters—including Constance Singam, Siew Kum Hong and Teo You Yenn—gave speeches about what the Saga meant to them and to Singapore. Here are some highlights from their remarks.
Saga Theme by .gif
Saga’s theme music was composed and performed by weish and din of the Singaporean band .gif.
Episode 12: The Winners
More than a decade since the events of the AWARE Saga, their lasting impact has rippled outwards in so many ways. But while the results of the fateful 2009 EGM were decisive, is it clear which side truly won? With the emergence of new movements and new slogans, new technologies and new generations, are the ideological fault lines in Singapore society continuing to widen? And if so, how can we heal them?
Episode 11: Extraordinary, Part Two
A young woman who believes in the right to choose. A sitcom actress risking her public persona for the sake of her principles. A former police officer who wishes his daughters could be there, too. Midway through the AWARE EGM, members new and old stand up and speak out about the takeover, LGBT rights, feminism and more. Together, they make one of the most powerful assertions of Singaporean democracy in recent memory.
Episode 10: Extraordinary, Part One
The day of reckoning arrives: the Extraordinary General Meeting to determine the fate of AWARE. With more than 3,000 attendees in the Suntec City Exhibition Hall, the energy and excitement are off the charts. After the New Guard make their case for the last time, the vote of no confidence in the current exco takes place. Which side will prevail?
Episode 9: B-Ware
Both sides ready themselves for battle with AWARE’s Extraordinary General Meeting in sight. Harnessing a huge team of volunteers, the Old Guard prepare to give their all, though the emotional toll of the saga is catching up to them. At the 11th hour, they face a logistical twist from the New Guard. Will a ballsy stratagem be enough to save them? Or will the Singapore government prove an unlikely ally?
A must listen
Very well produced, a pleasure to listen to and very hard to stop.
Evokes different emotions and tells a lot about human behavior and how much we still need to insist and persist to support inclusion and a more open society.
I started then I couldn’t stop..
I was up till wee hours binge listening. Gripping storytelling with gorgeous sound design just captivated me completely in the drama that unfolded. My earphones ran out of battery and I had to continue the next day and I loved every moment. Learnt so much and I am enriched. Thank you AWARE and to the brave founders.
Surprising and addictive
I loved the production of this! The narrator, interviews and sound effects went well together and I binged listen to it. I felt the outrage of the women and their determination. I will recommend this though the podcast does get overwhelming at times. But still an interesting look at AWARE and how their mission is so important for Singapore.