From “Borrowed Place, Borrowed Time” to “Our Place, Our Time”

The Art and Politics in East Asia Workshop


From “Borrowed Place, Borrowed Time” to “Our Place, Our Time”

Reclaiming the city of Hong Kong as Home

Chun Chun Ting

Ph.D. Candidate

Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations

With a response offered by

Tie Xiao, Ph.D student, EALC

Friday, May 15
3:00-5:00 p.m.

Judd 313


Focusing on the social movement aimed at protecting the Star Ferry Pier and the Queen’s Pier in Hong Kong in 2006 and 2007, this paper examines how the concern with urban space serves as a vantage point to reflect on the question of social justice, the rationale of economic development, the politics of decolonization, and the role of history in everyday life. Taking my insights from a novel – Dong Qizhang’s The Atlas: the Archaeology of an Imaginary City – and an animated film Mcdull: Prince de la Bun, I explore how textual and political strategies overlap each other, and try to delineate the forces one has to wrestle with in order to claim a city home. I argue that the recognition of the uncertainty and fictiveness of history does not undo the notions of home and identity, but takes us to a more open space where the idea of home and the figuring of a new collective subject, do not have to depend on a stabilized, unambiguous historical narrative.

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