Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

4 - Mobility and Memory: Remembering the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement

Saturday, July 7
2:40 PM - 4:10 PM
Location: Chinar, First Floor

As a unique social, cultural, and political event, the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement for universal suffrage captured global media attention and ignited conversations about utopian possibilities for peaceful revolution, democratic governance, and grassroots civic participation. Student leaders have been jailed and barred from running for political office, while residents face ideologically motivated curtailments on academic freedom, increased censorship, threats of persecution, and economic marginalization. Yet, this presentation argues, the political resistance lives on through collective remembering.

I examine three intermedial works of cultural memory about the Umbrella Movement and the ongoing political repression of free speech in Hong Kong: an online essay by University of Hong Kong Professor Timothy O’Leary titled “On Anger and Love, in Post-Occupy Hong Kong;” second, the book City of Protest: A Recent History of Dissent in Hong Kong (Antony Dapiran, 2017); and last, the documentary Raise the Umbrellas (Evans Chan, 2016). I will give the cultural and political context of each piece, highlight their intermedial components, and discuss the relationship between mobility and cultural production. Emerging from the intersection of convergence culture and political censorship, these three Anglophone works, produced by mobile subjects, about a predominantly Sinophone political movement, illustrate how new media productions utilize old media hegemonies to mobilize their political messages. Focusing on the convergence of social movement with individual memory, I interpret how the affective aesthetics of remembering shape the individual sense of communal belonging.


Jason Coe

Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong


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4 - Mobility and Memory: Remembering the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement

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