Policy Brief: Umbrella Movement and Hong Kong's Civil Society – University of Copenhagen

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31 January 2018 Policy Brief: Umbrella Movement and Hong Kong's Civil Society

In this policy brief, Evans Chan investigates some of the censorship issues created by China’s tightening control of Hong Kong’s political culture. Hong Kong, being colonized for 155 years by Britain and obtaining partial democracy in its final months, was handed back to China in 1997, under a “one country, two systems” arrangement. Yet the ensuing deterioration of economic equity, rule of law and cultural and political autonomy in Hong Kong resulted in an extraordinary 79-day succession of Occupy street protests in 2014 known as the Umbrella Movement. The fear of and discontent with “the encroachment of China” has generated several independent films reflecting on Hong Kong’s past, present and future. Leading the charge was Ten Years, a dystopian cinematic envisioning of a Hong Kong with self-immolating protesters, PRC-planted terrorists, and secret archives for its oppressed indigenous culture. Launched in November 2015, the film gained notoriety when it was criticized by the PRC’s Global Times for being “absurd…ridiculous…and spread[ing] fear.”

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