Arts and Culture
A few months after the Sunflower Movement in Taiwan against a proposed trade pact with the PRC in 2014, the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement (2014) broke out in Hong Kong. These two movements both showed strong resistance to the increasing influence of the PRC, yet were responded by the governments differently and ended up with dissimilar outcomes. On the one hand, the success of the Sunflower Movement in fighting off the trade agreement has fostered hope for social change and citizen participation in governance and community development. On the other hand, the Umbrella Movement ended with the arrests and prosecution of student leaders, protesters and dissidents under the PRC’s growing encroachments on Hong Kong. As civic engagement blossoms in different ways in Hong Kong and Taiwan, the experience of occupation during the movements have indeed inspired artists and cultural practitioners in the two cities and opened up their imagination about the commons and ‘commoning’ in their social and/or political engaged practices.
Whilst the notion of “the commons”, in general, refers to natural and cultural resources accessible to and shared by the community, “commoning” as suggested by Peter Linebaugh, conveys the on-going act of sharing them and building communal values, and signifies face-to-face interaction, participation and relationship. This panel will compare the commoning practices of artists and cultural practitioners in Hong Kong and Taiwan in the post-2014 times. Panelists will build on their personal and participatory experiences, reflect and examine through their commoning practices.