"‘Be Water, My Friend’"

"This written report is but one of three components that make up my thesis project, which also include a physical exhibition and a digital archive. This paper explores the ways in which members of the 2019 resistance movement in Hong Kong have. Through investigating the signs embedded in my personal collection of protest ephemera (known locally as 文宣) and interviews with protesters, I argue that the culture of resistance within movement flourished through the employment of various signs, as well as a sophisticated network of disseminating them. In the introduction, ‘Sensing Resistance’, I introduce key concepts, provide historical context, and detail my research methods. Chapter I, ‘Spreading Resistance’, lays out the semiotics of protest, provides a glossary of common signs in the movement, and discusses semiotic shifts over the duration of the movement. Chapter II, ‘Spreading Resistance’, explores the social currents from which HongKongers have drawn some of their signs to create new meaning and global resonance. Chapter III, ‘Selling Resistance’, investigates a unique phenomenon that arose when the culture and signs of protest mesh with Hong Kong’s ubiquitous culture of consumerism. The Epilogue, ‘Saving Resistance’, reflects on the implications of shifting identities and localities on the signs of protest. Interspersed throughout are my personal accounts of various poignant moments within the movement. I created and included these as examples of protest culture in action."

In collections

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ID Label Size Mimetype Created
OBJ OBJ datastream 37.21 MiB application/pdf 2022-06-02
TN TN 7.09 KiB image/jpeg 2022-06-02