Stella So, Lee Tung Street, from City of Powder: Vanishing Hong Kong (2008)

Friday, April 17, 3:00-5:00PM in CEAS 319 (1155 E 60th St)
Chun Chun Ting (PhD Candidate in EALC, University of Chicago)
Redefining Neighborhoods: Documentary Filmmaking and
Political Empowerment in Hong Kong’s Inner City

This Friday at 3:00PM, the Art and Politics of East Asia Workshop will meet for a presentation by Chun Chun Ting, PhD candidate in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, on the documentary films produced by the Hong Kong artist/activist group v-artivist. Ting’s paper, which can be found here, argues that these films tease out how working class life is continually eroded and overpowered by institutional forces while also showing how the spatial practices sustained in old neighborhoods nurture a spirit of local autonomy and agency. This vision of local life provides a source of critique not only of capitalist reproductions of urban space but also of capitalism as a way of organizing economic and social life. Ting’s paper specifically looks at v-artivist’s productive collaboration with residents facing redevelopment and their screening movement to explore how they transform the viewers’ relationship with images to cultivate a community of resistance. While bulldozers continue to raze many of these neighborhoods, Ting argues that the practices of v-artivist have substantially shifted the discussion about urban renewal from the nostalgic discourse of cultural heritage to one about housing rights and communal ownership, and as such redefine these neighborhoods as sites for the exercise of citizenship and collaboration.

If you have not received the password for the paper, or if you have concerns about accessibility, please feel free to contact Nicholas Lambrecht at lambrecht at Light refreshments will be served at the workshop. We look forward to seeing you on Friday!