China and Inner Asia

Organized Panel Session

1 - Giving Voice to Silence: Community Initiatives and Storytelling in Post-Occupy Hong Kong

Friday, July 6
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Jacaranda I, First Floor

In the face of increased legal, financial and moral burdens to participating in street politics, mass mobilization in Hong Kong has become increasingly difficult to organize. However, more covert forms of political actions have emerged in various public spaces and digital platforms. Documenting court hearings, sharing prisoner notes on social media, and organizing members-only or public events at public spaces have become increasingly common. To examine the dialectics between silence and voices, this study classifies everyday politics into three types, namely individualistic performances, professional advocacies and organized community initiatives. Through extensive ethnographic fieldwork in physical and virtual sites of these initiatives and performances, I examine the discrepancy between public statements and hidden transcripts of the participants. I will explain how organizers of civic organizations seek recognition of their claims among each other in their informal conversations of public affairs but downplay the political messages in their community works. I will also analyze the interactions under which weak ties developed through everyday practices in the civic arena and social media can be evolved into social capital, thereby enabling the weak to contest the distribution and relations of power in their society. Ecological and temporal factors are more important in structuring the practices and outcomes of everyday politics in this city of protests.


 

Edmund W. Cheng

Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

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1 - Giving Voice to Silence: Community Initiatives and Storytelling in Post-Occupy Hong Kong



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