Much has been said regarding the global flows of information that are characteristic of modernity; it has been frequently stressed that these conduits are so deeply embedded that local or national environments may be imagined as having a global span. Thus, while we are now well aware that the imagination is integral to global cultural processes, questions still arise about how the imagination of life with a global span is made possible at the level of everyday social practices. This book examines performative interventions that can generate a re-imagining of local publics — both spatially grounded and mediatized — and help to renegotiate the connection between the local and the global. After the ‘performative turn’ of the 1960s, it has been understood that shared experience of performance as event or spectacle can transform interpretations of the global and the local and create new meanings, and this book continues in the direction of this important tradition, while also fully expanding on its consequences.
From the 1920s on, popular music in Southeast Asia was a mass-audience phenomenon that drew new connections between indigenous musical styles and contemporary genres from elsewhere to create new, hybrid forms. This book presents a cultural history of modern Southeast Asia from the vantage point of popular music, considering not just singers and musicians but their fans as well, showing how the music was intrinsically bound up with modern life and the societal changes that came with it. Reaching new audiences across national borders, popular music of the period helped push social change, and at times served as a medium for expressions of social or political discontent.