Multi-cultural communities and global trade from 1500-1900


Honeycombers Editorial, 3 Feb 2017

Centuries before the proliferation of social media, networks of people, cultures, and information flowed freely between port cities such as Batavia (Jakarta) in Indonesia, Goa in India, Canton (now Guangzhou) in China, and, of course, Singapore. Spawned by advances in ship technology and knowledge of sea routes, these cities were thriving, cosmopolitan hubs of trade. They’re great examples of early globalisation and the hodgepodge – or “rojak” – of ethnicities, language, culture, lifestyles, and fashion.

For short films about the Port Cities exhibition at the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore click here for a presentation on the life of Cornelia van Nijenroode, and here for another on the Indian Chettiars of Saigon.

New York — before the city


Eric Sanderson, Ted Talk, July 2009

But every time I would return from my trips I’d return back to New York City. And on my weekends I would go up, just like all the other tourists, to the top of the Empire State Building, and I’d look down on this landscape, on these ecosystems, and I’d wonder, “How does this landscape work to make habitat for plants and animals? How does it work to make habitat for animals like me?” I’d go to Times Square and I’d look at the amazing ladies on the wall, and wonder why nobody is looking at the historical figures just behind them. I’d go to Central Park and see the rolling topography of Central Park come up against the abrupt and sheer topography of midtown Manhattan.

For the Manahatta Project and beyond click here.