The recurring flea market: It’s become the staple of a new breed of shoppers in Singapore. These are shoppers who are constantly looking for unique trinkets, vintage items, and seeking the high of discovering one unique shop after another (that you can’t get at a usual mall.)
It’s this experience of discovery that we hope to create with the quarterly Everyday Folk Market, here in the Enabling Village. We want to bring together anyone great with ideas and their hands—creatives with disabilities included—and people who love unique, beautiful things, all these together in our barrier-free space. We want to create a genuinely fun, inclusive event.
For the inaugural event on April 23, we partnered with the great folks at The Local People. We had nearly 50 stalls selling craft and food by local artisans such as Hei Poetry, The Green Co. and The Ugly Cake Shop. The Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) and the Singapore Association for the Deaf also set up shop for craftworks.
“Not only does the market highlight the entrepreneurial spirit of local brands, it also brings people into a space that allows for greater recognition of the potential of persons with disabilities,” said Siddharta Pillai, 19, a National Serviceman who attended the event.
We also had an open mic session at our main marketplace. Several aspiring musicians stepped up and sang for the visitors.
The Band of Doodlers, already frequent visitors of the Enabling Village (we love these guys), created a mural wall, the back of which we screened ‘Simi Kopitiam’, a documentary on Singapore coffee shops by local production house Little Red Ants.
“I’m glad that the market was able to reach out to so many members of the public, many of whom came to Enabling Village for the first time,” said Georgia Wong, 42, a visitor with a child who has special needs. “I hope events like this can inspire a greater sense of ownership towards the issue of inclusion in our community. Let’s celebrate the diverse experiences of both able-bodied people and people with disabilities.”
We look forward to seeing everyone again in three months time. If you’re an independent artisan or vendor (and especially if you have a disability), give us a shout. We’ll work out how you can be part of our future Everyday Folk Markets.