“The Amazingly Fabulous Tuk tuk Race”: mobility and carnival praxis in the semiotic landscape of Phnom Penh Pride

Benedict J. L. Rowlett*, Christian Go

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this semiotic landscape study we examine the 2019 pride celebrations in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, with a focus on its main event, the “Amazingly Fabulous Tuk Tuk Race.” This event emphasizes mobility vis-à-vis select participants who race in decorated tuk tuks, the city's iconic everyday mode of transport, across the city to complete a scavenger hunt. The study analyzes these tuk tuks as forms of mobile signs that temporarily queer the streets of Phnom Penh, conveying the convergence of international discourses relating to LGBTQ+ sexual identity politics as well as locally salient discourses (e.g. education and development, tourism and commerce) that are embedded in the pride event. The study proposes that these mobile signs constitute a form of carnival praxis, giving us critical insight into forms of creative and tactical public engagement with queer visibility in this globally southern context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalSocial Semiotics
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Sep 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

User-Defined Keywords

  • Cambodia
  • LGBTQ+ pride
  • carnival praxis
  • semiotic landscape

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