At the end of 2014 and at the start of 2015, New Bloom will be conducting a review of the year’s most noteworthy events. We have curated a selection of our own articles, as well as articles from outside sources, which we think were best represent the events of the past year.
Certainly one of, if not the most important political event in the East Asian region of the past year, the outbreak of Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement in late September caught the attention of the world in a way that the Sunflower Movement did not. But the developments of the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement was watched carefully by Taiwanese, not only because of the implications that it would pose for China’s own efforts to encroach upon Taiwanese sovereignty, but out of a sense of solidarity and a sense of shared cause. We are still witnessing the aftereffects of the Umbrella Movement regarding China’s attempts to settle questions of its perceived borders and its geopolitical agenda for the Asia-Pacific region.
New Bloom sought to cover the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement from the beginning, dating back to before the outbreak of present events. During the course of the Umbrella Movement itself, also New Bloom conducted a number of interviews with participants, observers, and organizers on the ground.
Connecting and Comparing the Hong Kong Struggles
In the LA Book Review and the Huffington Post, New Bloom editor Lorand Laskai reflects upon the continuities between the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement and the Sunflower Movement, not only in regards to aims, goals, and demands, but also in regards to protest tactics, methods of organization, and the inspiration that both movements took from one another.
Black Versus Yellow
Perhaps the best critical article written on the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement written from a politically radical perspective, Black versus Yellow performs a class analysis of the Hong Kong protests, also discussing economic inequality in Hong Kong, and the issues that anti-mainland sentiment poses for the movement. Although written at an early stage in the movement, the unfolding of the Umbrella Movement bore out much of what the article described in regards to the distinctions within the movement and the broader questions facing the movement. The article, published by Ultra.com, was later translated into a number of languages, including Spanish and Japanese.
Physical Space and Social Movements
As part of our reports of on-site in the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong, Xi An, a student studying at Chinese University of Hong Kong reflects upon the comparative strengths and weaknesses of the three different occupation sites of the Umbrella Movement. In his analysis, Xi An draws upon urban studies, and the experience of other urban occupation movements of recent memory, such as Occupy Wall Street.
Eye of the Storm: Dian Dian
Among the many interviews we conducted with participants and observers of the Umbrella Movement, a project that is still ongoing, New Bloom’s interview with Dian Dian, editor of the Queer Lala Times was a standout. We discussed the differences and tensions between different groups operating on the ground in Hong Kong, the sexual politics within the movement itself, the views of the movement towards Chinese, and the question of democracy for the movement overall.
Interview: Chen Guangsheng (陳光誠)
At a solidarity protest for Hong Kong in New York City in Times Square, New Bloom caught up briefly with noted Chinese dissident Chen Guangsheng regarding his views of the movement, his views as to the influence the movement would have upon China, and what he thought the ultimate goals of the movement should be.