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Title: Joining the Pink Dots in the Little Red Dot: Tracing Gay Tracks in Singapore
Keywords: Singapore, Theatre, Performance, Pinkdot, Place, Space
Issue Date: 14-Jan-2011
Citation: TAN YEOW HUI BRIAN (2011-01-14). Joining the Pink Dots in the Little Red Dot: Tracing Gay Tracks in Singapore. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: On the 16th of May 2009, the inaugural Pinkdot, an event supporting the ?Freedom to Love? organised by a group of local volunteers, was held in Hong Lim Park. The inaugural event attracted as many as 1000 people, as reported by the official press (The Straits Times 17th May 2009). Subsequently, the second Pinkdot, held on the 15th of May 2010 attracted 4000 participants according to (2010). The third, held on the 18th of June 2011 saw a reported 10,000 participants coming together, again in Hong Lim Park to form a giant pink dot in a show of support for ?inclusiveness, diversity and the freedom to love? (Pinkdot 2011). The event was hailed as a milestone and was celebrated by the gay community in Singapore, who felt that at last, there was a space for recognition, a space for them to embrace their sexuality and a space for acceptance. In many aspects, Pinkdot and its aftermath echoed the thoughts of Ng King Kang, who in his dissertation, questioned if Singapore, with its ever-increasing imperatives to rethink its economic strategies, would see an improved situation for the visibility of the gay community in Singapore. He concluded that there were indeed welcoming spaces in Singapore, in part due to the emerging and gradual changes in the political and social scape of Singapore. However his research remains very much undefined and ambiguous. While he cites the opening of creative spaces such as The Speaker?s Corner, the Nation parties organised by and the successful staging of Singapore plays with gay characters and gay themes as salient examples of how there has been more space for the gay community in Singapore (Ng 2008), his research appears to be a superficial rendering of the situation in Singapore. This dissertation will explore the Pinkdot phenomena in greater detail: its impact and its implications on gay spaces and spatiality. The research will also attempt to show via the examination of: The means in which gay space is depicted in gay plays in Singapore and gay space is staged in Singapore Theatre to frame the performance analysis of Pinkdot. In doing so, this thesis hopes to elaborate on proposition that the notion of an existent gay space in Singapore is still very much located in the place of an imaginary and that the arguments proposed by Ng appear at best, fallacious. The research methodology for the purposes of this paper include: 1. The critical and semiotic readings of gay plays written by gay playwrights in Singapore; 2. The examination of how gay plays have been staged thus far in Singapore and; 3. The evaluation of Pinkdot 2010, an actual gay event happening in the place, Hong Lim Park. Part of the research methodology also involves the act of Twittering or Tweeting. Via the application of Twitter, 140-charactered status updates which are stored on an online archive under a retrievable account are uploaded onto a server in real-time. The dates and times are clearly stated on each Twitter post allowing the researcher to access and reference them easily at any time. Twitter provides researchers a convenient, simultaneous and a concise means (due to the cap placed on the number of up-loadable characters) of archiving and documenting their presence in the places visited in the instance they were in those places. At the same time, Twitter also allows the simultaneous posting of the photographs taken on site using a smart phone?s camera and this becomes an invaluable source by which the statuses are verified and validated by means of pictorial evidence.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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