When Cooking was a Crime: Masak in the Singapore Prisons, 1970s–1980s
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176 x 250 x 10 mm
128 pp, 300 g
French Fold, OTA Bind
Soft cover with plastic sleeves
Published in November 2020
Chamber pots as cooking pots. Blankets as fuel. Cooking was no easy task for those in prison. Moreover, it was illegal. But that did not stop male inmates in Singapore’s prisons and Drug Rehabilitation Centres (DRCs) during the 1970s and 1980s. Driven by the desires for a hot meal and a sense of freedom, they invented ways and means to “masak” with the little resources they had.
When Cooking Was A Crime offers a rare glimpse into the flavours of prison life based on the memories of eight former inmates. Through photographic recreations and interviews, it explores how food and cooking took on new meanings and tastes for those living behind bars.
Research and Text by Sheere Ng
Photography by Don Wong
Design by Practice Theory
Published by In Plain Words