I wrote this piece reflecting on my Spring 2020 study abroad experience in Singapore as a Junior Year Abroad Blogger for the Berkley Center on Religion, Peace & World Affairs. I share my thoughts on racial dynamics and injustices both in Singapore and back home in the United States, amid the protests against police brutality and the global reckoning with racism sparked by the murder of George Floyd in May 2020.
An uncharacteristically anxious Lee Sedol glances up at his opponent across the Go board. Out of desperation, he searches for a look of unease, a flicker of doubt—a sign of weakness. Force of habit. It’s unnecessary in this game; his competitor is not human.
The first stroke is always the brightest. The teacher tells me to start with the purest colors before laying on the grays and darks, so with a flick of my wrist, the solid red streak burns uncontested and incorruptible against the stark whiteness, a violent aberration in the uniformity of its surroundings.