For nation states, but also regions, cities, unions or sports clubs flags are an important source of identity. They are full of symbolism that aims not just to portrait and reflect, but also to create the values of the people they are supposed to represent. There usually are no coincidences when it comes to flags, and every little detail is carefully thought of.
The events around Sunday, 28 September 2014, when the police repeatedly used tear gas against peaceful student protesters in Admiralty and Central are well documented, as are the days after, when Hong Kong appeared on the radar of a larger international audience, with even James Nachtwey, a veteran photojournalist who made his name on the streets of Thailand, Iraq and Northern Ireland being spotted on the streets of Hong Kong.
But this movement wasn’t expected, it wasn’t even planned. It took the organizers almost as much by surprise as the police, and most of all it caught the international media completely off guard who were almost completely unrepresented until students were being met with tear gas. Sadly they can now only speculate to what galvanized a student strike into an internationally recognized popular movement.
I would like to add my own account of the events between September 25 and 28, which I find crucial to understanding the movement’s origins.
A student leader giving a motivational speech ahead of an expected standoff with police
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Hong Kong does not has as much of an open and striving street culture as other cities do. But when walking around slowly and looking carefully, you can find bursts of creativity and criticism around you in the form of … Continue reading →