This study explores how karaoke serves as a spatializing practice for Filipino Americans in Chicago from which a new poetics of diaspora life is performed. Space, as argued by Lefebvre, is essentially empty but becomes occupied through visual cues animated by the gestures and actions of those who inhabit it. The spatializing potential of karaoke places everyday life as a site of discourse where music and childhood memories serve not only as objects of the past but also as cultural imaginaries that live and breathe in the present. Drawing from interviews of and engaging in participant observation with Filipino Americans in Chicago from various occupational backgrounds, this study argues that karaoke as a cultural practice is informed by a logic of diasporic performativity that locates active engagement with media as an expression of human agency. The spaces of interaction that it creates embody a reconstruction of home, identity, and community, the discursive potential of which can be as political as it is poetic. Through karaoke, perceived dichotomies between performer and spectator, immigrant and American-born, homeland and hostland are untangled creating social and emotional bonds that offer possibilities of social critique.

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