With my family roots being originally from Hong Kong, I arrived in September to witness the movement for myself, uncertain of what to expect. Were the headlines of violence and destruction an accurate depiction of the movement, or was it a journalistic tendency to focus on the most dramatic and cinematic moments? Were the claims of normality an attempt to reassure foreign investors and potential tourists? Perhaps something in between?
Since the start of the protests on June 9th, the movement has drastically evolved on a week-to-week basis. With what began originally as a peaceful movement, an increasing number of violent clashes between the protestors and armed forces has since led to more than 2,000 arrests, the entire shutdown of the local MTR transportation system, 12,000 rounds of tear gas, and over 150 petrol bombs thrown. Now six months into the movement, it seems that an end is still yet to be seen despite recent district elections that saw a rare period of calm following dramatic confrontations between police and protestors across the university campuses of the city.
This has been an incredibly well-documented movement of resistance in journalism, with a high degree of accessibility to language, interviewees, internet, and more. However, what are the lesser-known stories that are oftentimes not shown on the headlines? What are these rallies like just before or after the peak of dramatic confrontations? How have the protests become integrated into the daily lives of protestors, police, and citizens of Hong Kong, transforming into a rather normalized affair six months into the protests? This series attempts to show some of these moments in between headlines, inviting the viewer into what it's like to live in Hong Kong during these tumultuous times.