Journal Article

Mapping ‘the whirligig of amusements’ in colonial Southeast Asia


This article assesses the interconnected nature of Southeast Asia around 1900, the transnational entertainment scene in Southeast Asia, and the role of Singapore as a hub for commerce, shipping, and entertainment. The global and regional development of transportation and communications technology and networks facilitated the movement of people, goods, ideas, and amusement forms. The article is based primarily on archival research from colonial newspapers in the region. It surveys and maps more than one hundred itinerant entertainment companies that travelled throughout Southeast Asia around the turn of the century, thereby creating and visualising a circuit of entertainment.

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  • Type:
    Journal Article (peer reviewed)
  • Journal:
    Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Vol 49, Issue 2.
  • Pages:
  • Published:
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  • DOI:

About the Author

Nadi Tofighian

Nadi Tofighian is a researcher and lecturer at the Section for Cinema Studies at the Department of Media Studies. He has previously been a lecturer at Linnaeus University, Örebro University and at De La Salle University Manila, and a postdoctoral ... Read more


Tofighian, N. (2018). Mapping ‘the whirligig of amusements’ in colonial Southeast Asia. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 49(2), pp. 277-296. Available at: [Accessed 30 Nov. 2022]. doi: 10.1017/S002246341800022X.