In the Aftermath: Post-2019 Hong Kong Documentaries as Cinema of Repair
A public lecture by IIAS Research Fellow Isha Ting.
Everyone is welcome to attend, but we kindly ask you to register as seating is limited.
Please note that this talk takes place in the IIAS Conference room from 16:00 - 18:-00 p.m. and is not streamed online.
This addresses post-2019 Hong Kong, focusing on two recent documentaries—Blue Island (Chan Tse Woon, 2022) and Decameron (Rita Hsu, 2021)—and their use of historical archives to attempt an ethics of repair.
Isha Ting approaches post-2019 Hong Kong as a broken world and tries to think through ethics of repair by looking into documentary films made after the 2019 protest movement and under the threat of the National Security Law imposed in June 2020. Following Steven Jackson’s writing on the Anthropocene, Isha argues that the recognition of a broken world can be generative and productive. Situating their work in the aftermath of the momentous protest movement in 2019, her analyses focus on two recent documentaries—Blue Island (Chan Tse Woon, 2022) and Decameron (Rita Hsu, 2021)—that use historical archives to connect the present time of brokenness with past moments of upheaval and failure. Their evocation of the surreal and the spectral, and the use of reenactment as performative repetition of the archive, not only create a palimpsest of multiple times and experiences but also restore a sense of richness and uncertainty to the past and work as a strategy to pick up and assemble the broken fragments of history and repair these hostile “part-objects” to connect and reimagine a possible future.
Isha Ting is a Research Fellow at IIAS, and previously an Assistant Professor at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Ting received her PhD from the University of Chicago. She is currently working on her manuscript on the social movements and artistic activism in post-handover Hong Kong. Focusing on how urban space is represented culturally and contested politically in contemporary Hong Kong, her project aims to examine the urban condition that nurtures identity and citizenship and explore the changing contour of the Hong Kong people's political subjectivities. Ting also writes more generally on contemporary Sinophone literature and cinema, especially migrant workers’ literature and culture in contemporary China.
Everyone is welcome to attend. Please register using the web form on this page as seating is limited and we would like to know how many people to expect.