Introduction | Cho-kiu (Joseph) Li

by Critical Asia

by Cho-kiu (Joseph) Li, June 2023】

Hong Kong has been declared a dying city and a reborn city more times than we can count. Many citizens have grown accustomed to these repetitive comments, continuing to care for their own daily lives and those of others within and beyond its borders. Despite the unpleasant memories, emotions, and duties they carry forward, are there moments when they feel a glimmer of hope? Where do these hopeful feelings arise?

Hope sometimes appears as blind optimism. However, hope doesn’t have to be grandiose to be genuine. While there are numerous grand claims on Hong Kong’s destined hopelessness and hopefulness, not many nuanced observations and discussions have been generated on citizens’ multiple senses and acts of hope in everyday life. To persist in critical and theoretical dialogue on Hong Kong culture and society, we must commit ourselves to a reflexive sensitivity on overlapping affective grounds people dwell in and create.

This special section has archived several contributors’ writings on hope. Seven writers, each of whom shares a concern for Hong Kong, were asked to pinpoint one location where they find “hope” in relation to their lived experiences and/or research projects. The essays touch on different locations of hope, including hope in urban walking, housing, land activism, visual art, student publications, indigenous history, and forests. By sharing these hopeful locations with readers, we aim to present and map out some possible anchors of a future that remains within our grasp.

  1. Notes on Hope and Urban-Walking Enthusiasm in Hong Kong
    Sampson Wong
    Lecturer of Urban Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong
  2. Outlining the Hope Mechanism – The Case of Hong Kong’s Culture of Homeownership
    TSANG Chung Kin
    Assistant Professor of Sociology, Hong Kong Shue Yan University
  3. Beyond the Breaking Point: Locations of Hope through the Lens of Land Activism in Hong Kong
    HUANG Shan
    PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology, Stanford University
  4. The Action of Hope in Art amidst Darkness
    Vennes Cheng
    Associate Curator, M+ Museum
  5. Student Publications as Object of Hopes: A Digital Humanities Approach
    Kin-long Tong
    PhD Candidate, Department of Information Studies, University College London
  6. Feeling Hope on Turtle Island: A “Home” Letter to Overseas Hong Kongers in “Canada”
    Pamela P. Tsui
    PhD Student of Sociology, University of Toronto
  7. Hoping for Plants in Industrial Ruination
    FUNG Wan Yin Kimberly
    PhD Student of Anthropology, Hitotsubashi University

Cho-kiu (Joseph) Li, Lecturer, Department of Social Science, Hang Seng University of Hong Kong

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