Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10497/21680
Title: 
Authors: 
Keywords: 
Little India Riot
Singapore
Multiculturalism
Silence-violence
Dissensus
Performative silence
Nonsensical silence
Intelligible nonsense
Issue Date: 
2016
Citation: 
Tan, M. C. C. (2016). Performative silence: Race, riot and the end of multiculturalism. Journal of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies, 1(1), 9-22.
Abstract: 
On 8 December 2013, the monotonous placidity of Singapore’s streets was disrupted by anti-social violence in a district called Little India. Such acts of mass aggression were unheard of in a country whose policies of multiculturalism have been hailed as exemplary for developed nations. This article examines the conditions and consequences of the riot in Singapore and posits that the event signified a rupture in the politics of multicultural practice. It analyses media representations, official state narratives and vitriolic public responses to consider how the voices of the rioters have been violently silenced. Framed by what Georges Bataille terms the dialectic of civilised speech versus silent violence, where silence is regarded as dispossession and objectification, and vocality as empowerment and subjectivity, this article will consider the performativities of silence and violence and the ways the riot is an event of dissensus, a politics of interruption that fractures hegemonic state-prescribed narratives of multiculturalism.
Description: 
This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in Journal of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies. The published version is available online at https://doi.org/10.1386/jivs.1.1.9_1
URI: 
ISSN: 
2057-0341
Other Identifiers: 
10.1386/jivs.1.1.9_1
Website: 
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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