Sensory Politics in a Multicultural City-State:
Foodways, Religion and the Everyday
What happens when everyday religiosity expressed through food practices and rituals that involve sound, smell and other sensory modalities infringe on the sensory “rights” of other groups in such multicultural, multi-religious contexts? How does this infringement reconfigure talk about racial and religious harmony? The paper therefore draws attention to the sensory micropolitics of friction in the everyday that ostensibly appears less dramatic, less serious and less pressing than the spectacle afforded to religious violence, but which nevertheless remains real and challenging. At a broader level, the cases are connected to the processes involving the bureaucratisation of sensescapes in modern, urban Singapore – invoking the discourse of the greater good by the state vis-à-vis the project of hegemonic consensus.