Silent waves: On silence, Singapore, and Jacques Rancière

Felipe Cervera


This article stages the silent adventure of watching theatre about Singapore Malays and reading Jacques Rancière in Singapore. The argument blurs the real and the fictional, the voice of the author with the voice of the spectator, Rancière’s voice with the silence of Maya Raisha, a Malay-Muslim girl.  In doing so, the piece seeks to evidence that as a consequence of the regulatory nature of performance in Singapore, more than creating a moment of disruption against the normative sphere, silence evidences the instrumentality that ‘speaking up’ has in the normativity of the city-state. The piece is written as the performative chronicle of an intellectual adventure that took place between 2012 and 2013, when alongside reading Rancière’s work in detail, the author moved to Singapore and watched Teater Ekamatra’s Not Counted (2012) and The Necessary Stage’s Best Of (2012-3).


Singapore, Silence, Jacques Rancière, Malay-Muslim, theatricality

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