Singapore Prize For History – Winner Announced

singapore prize

A renowned archaeologist whose work refutes the common misperception that Singapore’s history began with Sir Stamford Raffles has been named winner of the inaugural Singapore prize for history. Professor John Miksic, of the National University of Singapore (NUS) East Asian Institute, won S$50,000, and will be presented with the award on Thursday (Jan 11). The prize, which was launched in 2014 in support of SG50 programmes, is the first of its kind devoted to the country’s history. It is also the first to recognise publications that have made a lasting impact on our understanding of Singapore’s past. Miksic’s book, Singapore And The Silk Road Of The Sea, 1300-1800, explores archaeological finds of what the city-state was like before colonisation.

The prize is administered by the NUS Department of History. Submissions can be books or other creative works with clear historical themes. The prize, which will be awarded again in 2024, seeks to broaden the definition of what is considered history by allowing submissions on any time period or theme relevant to Singapore’s past.

Among the more unusual submissions to this year’s competition was Kampung Admiralty, a community building in Indonesia designed by Budi Prajot and Tito Supriatna, which aims to improve public access to the waterfront by using solar energy to provide light and water. Another submission that received the most votes was an architectural model of a stacked apartment block designed by OMA and Ole Scheeren in Paris.

This year, the prize also introduced a new translation category, open to submissions from non-Singapore authors in both English and Chinese. Clara Chow, a Singapore writer, became the first person to be shortlisted for both the English fiction and English creative nonfiction categories at the same time, in addition to being shortlisted for both the Chinese and English poetry categories.

On the night of the ceremony, William wore a 10-year-old dark green suit by Alexander McQueen. Other celebrities opted for eco-friendly attire, including actresses Yen and Mbatha, who both wore dresses by Stella McCartney. The night was also marked by a new initiative, Earthshot Week, which will bring together global leaders, businesses and innovators to collaborate and accelerate their solutions to repairing the planet.

During his trip to Singapore, the Prince will join this year’s finalists of the annual Earthshot prize, which awards $1 million to five entrepreneurs who develop technological solutions to environmental problems. The winners will be in the country next month to participate in a series of events that will see them engage with activists, policymakers and business leaders to bring these solutions to life. This will be followed by a month of local activations in collaboration with the Singapore community. The programme is backed by the Singapore government and a number of private sponsors.