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One widely accepted narrative in Singapore concerns access and reads thus: education is the main vehicle for upward income mobility. Students are sorted into Normal and Express programmes through the Primary School Leaving Examinations at 12 years of age. Academic overachievement is the socially validated norm. Rising incidents of youth suicide and depression in recent years have been attributed to academic stress. I explore the messy temporalities of hope and propose that hope is created when imaginations of the future are not constrained by the parameters of access.

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No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.

Notes on contributor

Adelina Ong is a PhD graduate of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama exploring how parkour, art du déplacement, breakin’ and graffiti-inspired place practices might facilitate compassionate mobilities. Adelina served on the Executive Committee of TaPRA as a postgraduate representative from 2014 to 2018.

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