Keep Our Waterways Clean

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Since our Spinning Dreams (in Timor-Leste) Film in 2010 – Ashwin and I have worked together tirelessly together to create important Documentaries which inspire others. Four massive projects later in 4 countries around Asia, and over SG$100,000 raised for our causes, we created our first community message specifically directed to speak to the heart of local Singaporeans.

It was a wonderful idea: try encourage all Singaporeans to “Keep Singapore Clean” – very simple. To do this, we wanted to show the different landscapes and beautiful waterways of Singapore, and the affect that rubbish has on the environment.

We could have done this through traditional advertising techniques, using actors or well spoken citizens. Instead, we spoke to local fisherman, school children, kayakers – people that use the waterways every day.

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It’s funny when people ask me about Singapore. They are often surprised when I tell them it’s my favourite city in the world, and without a doubt, it really is.

Firstly, I love the tropics. Singapore certainly is a tropical paradise. It is stunningly beautiful and lush with wildlife and flora. There’s no allusion that humankind has taken over the planet. Even in the most remote & protected places in the world, such as Cocos Island National Park (Costa Rica) where we filmed earlier this year:

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…is at risk from severe environmental destruction from plastic pollution such as old fishing lines.

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Therefore, the only way forward, I see, is through urban national parks. Environments where humans and wildlife can not only live but thrive in harmony. People overseas often think Singapore is nothing but a corporate megalopolis. They couldn’t be more wrong. Anyone who thinks like this should go visit my friends at the Ground Up Initiative, to do some gardening & help “Forge A Beautiful Connection with the Earth and the Community”.

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As Singapore government promotes, Singapore really is “A City in our Garden”.

There are so many places of environmental beauty in Singapore, it’s impossible to ignore. I love the jungle – but my favourite example of sustainable innovation is Bishan Park. It was once nothing but a concrete drain in a low socio-economic area…

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…what it is now, gives me hope for the future.

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You can read more about this incredible project here.

But it takes more than bio-engineering and sustainable architecture to create an environmentally friendly eco-system. You need the community to take pride in their environment, and not take the clean fresh grass to roll on for granted.

The National Environment Agency had concerns that some locals were not aware of the severe impact plastic and littering had on our environment. They wanted to create a community message to educate the masses, evoke a sense of pride and congratulate those who are already dedicating their life to Keeping Singapore Clean.

One of those heroes – is Eugene.

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Eugene runs an incredible organisation called the “Waterways Watch Society”, which is basically just a group of volunteers and a couple of full time staff, which patrol different areas of Singapore picking up rubbish.

There are volunteers of all ages that go in groups either cycling, kayaking or boating along the waterways to collect rubbish. I was in awe of his commitment and love for Kallang Waterways – the most popular waterway for activities such as dragon boating.

We joined Eugene and his group, and met many young inspiring people who dedicated their weekends to cleaning their environment, instead of spending time at shopping malls.

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We also filmed groups of school children who volunteer to clean the plastic from East Coast Park, and met all kinds of people who use the waterways every day.

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The scope of the film project was large, so it was a great chance to work with some different freelancers to make the film. The artistic and creative talent in Singapore is unbelievable – raw and terribly exciting to be apart of. SG truly is the hub of Asia, not only geographically, but an important hub for creative and innovative people from all over the world!

The style of Art, Music and Film Singapore creates has strong influences from all over the world, but with a VERY unique Singaporean story to tell.

But it’s not only the content, but the ways in which this content is being viewed & shared is being innovated here: Viddsee and OurBetterWorld being a perfect inspiring example.

We sourced our film crew through two inspiring enterprises which support this growing creative movement in Singapore: Creatives@Work and sixdegrees.

Through the help of the lovely Jayce from Creatives@Work, we connected with the incredible talented Anuj Gulati (Cinematographer) and Nizlan (Sound Recordist), and through our friends from “Our Better World” we met Anshul (Cinematographer & Editor).

The shoot was made even more rewarding working with such fun and talented crew, and despite heavy (sporadic) rain on two of the shoots days, we still worked through it all!

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I couldn’t be more excited to be officially moving to Singapore next year, to continue my work in the Asian region with Ash & the Gone Adventurin’ crew. There are lots of exciting Documentary projects coming up, which are all part of my personal life-long mission to continue finding positive solutions and inspiration to protect and nurture our beautiful planet! And like always, doing this through the spirit of Adventure!

What I know so far – is that I will be in Indonesia this Dec sourcing ideas for sustainability, in the Swiss Alps all of Jan fighting climate change – and travelling across the world from March to raise funds for research and awareness of Breast Cancer, with two incredible Surgeons from Singapore!

Updates coming soon!

(You can always keep up to date with our projects or get in touch via my Twitter feed @Jacqui_Hocking).

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