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‘Pornography Disguised as Art’: Bare/d Bodies, Biopolitics and Multicultural Tolerance in Singapore

  • Marcus Cheng Chye TanEmail author
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Part of the Contemporary Performance InterActions book series (CPI)

Abstract

In 2017, performance licences for two shows in the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival were denied just days before their opening. Undressing Room and Naked Ladies were flagged for ‘excessive nudity which included scenes of audience-participants stripping naked, and graphic depictions of exposed genitalia.’ Such acts of naked censorship are not uncommon yet the call to censor these performances came from a Facebook group, ‘Singaporeans Defending Marriage and Family,’ who labelled these performances as ‘pornography disguised as art.’ This chapter considers this curious shift in biopolitics and examines the place of the body as the site of political inscription where ‘Asian values’ are appropriated as means of continued oppression. Yet, as these performances prove, the body also presents possibilities of revised narratives of multiculturalism in contemporary Singapore.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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