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  1. # “It Aways Fits. Eventually.”
  2. *Oct 26 2019*
  3. HKer's masks & respirators for braving teargas hv become synonymous with our pro-democracy mvmt. We trace the art to see how the masks hv evolved in use, & w/ them how new heroes hv arisen from an ordinary ppl.
  4. ![](images/thread39/t39-p1.jpg)
  5. On 16 Jun, 2 mln HKers made a choice. Many put on their masks, and marched.
  6. Most were your ordinary 'peaceful' protestor type, their masks the badly-fitting disposable variety - a legacy of SARS & later the☂ Mvmt; flimsy protection against both virus and Big Brother.
  7. ![](images/thread39/t39-p2.jpg)
  8. Since then, HKers have continued choosing to don their masks. There're 2 main types used: 1st is disposable masks, usu. white/blue/black. 2nd is respirators (‘pig-snouts’) that tend to be depicted in bright pink. (Colors vary IRL by functionality, but let's not go there.)
  9. ![](images/thread39/t39-p3.jpg)
  10. ![](images/thread39/t39-p4.jpg)
  11. Disposable masks are associated w/ peaceful 'woleifei's, the ppl who don't expect to get gassed. Their use is mostly to hide identities - we may not be able to enjoy our rights of assembly & speech w/out fear, but we'll still brave what we have to to exercise them.
  12. ![](images/thread39/t39-p5.jpg)
  13. ![](images/thread39/t39-p6.jpg)
  14. ![](images/thread39/t39-p7.jpg)
  15. ![](images/thread39/t39-p8.jpg)
  16. The respirators are associated w/ those at the teargas buffets. The distinctive pink you see in photos & art are particulate filters, for those in heavy industry in danger from ammonia & chlorine... not made for young ppl fighting for freedom, in danger from their own govt.
  17. ![](images/thread39/t39-p9.jpg)
  18. ![](images/thread39/t39-p10.jpg)
  19. ![](images/thread39/t39-p11.jpg)
  20. ![](images/thread39/t39-p12.jpg)
  21. Even for frontliners the current setup wasn't a necessity at first. Early pamphlet from Jun rec-ed disposable respirators gd enough for mild teargas. By Jul, materials hd bn thoroughly updated; we knew the fog & hellfire we're up against. And still we chose to walk into it.
  22. ![](images/thread39/t39-p13.jpg)
  23. ![](images/thread39/t39-p14.jpg)
  24. ![](images/thread39/t39-p15.jpg)
  25. ![](images/thread39/t39-p16.jpg)
  26. We still chose to walk into it, bcos the fog & hellfire was spreading, into our streets & homes. The respirators - & sometimes the face masks - are what allow us to get close enough to the gas & douse it out, to *literally* save our neighborhoods from pain & tears.
  27. ![](images/thread39/t39-p17.jpg)
  28. ![](images/thread39/t39-p18.jpg)
  29. ![](images/thread39/t39-p19.jpg)
  30. ![](images/thread39/t39-p20.jpg)
  31. Gas masks hv bn vital to safety of journalists too. They didn't start out in full gear, but as HKPF grew to greet them w/ teargas salutes, respirators became a necessity. For journos to uncover truth thru fog of war, they must be able to walk thru it first- and so, masks on.
  32. ![](images/thread39/t39-p21.jpg)
  33. ![](images/thread39/t39-p22.jpg)
  34. ![](images/thread39/t39-p23.jpg)
  35. The masks are HKers' hard choices. The choice to fight for our freedoms of speech & assembly. The choice to protect our neighborhoods & homes. The choice to live in fear, but still, to live!... Choices which we only have to make because of the govt's wilful incompetence.
  36. ![](images/thread39/t39-p24.jpg)
  37. ![](images/thread39/t39-p25.jpg)
  38. ![](images/thread39/t39-p26.jpg)
  39. ![](images/thread39/t39-p27.jpg)
  40. So when the Anti-Mask Law came into effect on 5 Oct, HKers were livid. Our art rebelled and revelled in the farcical nature of our new reality - HKers sport ludicrous masks & makeup, mocking Lam's govt. 'Is this what you're scared of? Me in my little hair mask? Well, good.'
  41. ![](images/thread39/t39-p28.jpg)
  42. ![](images/thread39/t39-p29.jpg)
  43. ![](images/thread39/t39-p30.jpg)
  44. ![](images/thread39/t39-p31.jpg)
  45. From this pt, masks became less abt stripping of identity as declaration of one. Masks are displays of HKers' defiance of unjust laws- frontliner w/ 'pig snout' or woleifei w/ Pooh mask- we're in the same boat now. In our art, we are many, but we are also as one, resisting.
  46. ![](images/thread39/t39-p32.jpg)
  47. ![](images/thread39/t39-p33.jpg)
  48. ![](images/thread39/t39-p34.jpg)
  49. ![](images/thread39/t39-p35.jpg)
  50. If this sounds a bit like the end of 'V for Vendetta'... yes. The Guy Fawkes mask exploded in our protest art late Sep & never left, largely bcos HKers are sympathetic to the idea that a mask holds power. The power to defy, to unite... to become anonymous & unsung heroes.
  51. ![](images/thread39/t39-p36.jpg)
  52. ![](images/thread39/t39-p37.jpg)
  53. ![](images/thread39/t39-p38.jpg)
  54. ![](images/thread39/t39-p39.jpg)
  55. But HKers are just an ordinary people. No one asked for this. No one enjoys the teargas buffets, and no one likes being behind a mask - they're hot, sticky & uncomfortable...
  56. We just happen to be born into a time of chaos. Which means we have certain responsibilities.
  57. ![](images/thread39/t39-p40.jpg)
  58. ![](images/thread39/t39-p41.jpg)
  59. ![](images/thread39/t39-p42.jpg)
  60. ![](images/thread39/t39-p43.jpg)
  61. HKers are an ordinary ppl, disenfranchised yet still empowered. Turns out we've bn heroes all along, choosing from the start to put on our ill-fitting masks to bear our responsibilities to this age. And as mths wore on & we grew, we chose to do it, again & again & again.
  62. ![](images/thread39/t39-p44.jpg)
  63. ![](images/thread39/t39-p45.jpg)
  64. ![](images/thread39/t39-p46.jpg)
  65. ![](images/thread39/t39-p47.jpg)
  66. HKers are an ordinary ppl who'll resist w/ heroic courage, as regular ppl do in tough times. No matter what govt does, our defiant masks stay on- they allow us to heal, put out fires, shed light on the truth... & go on living our regular lives, as heroes do in tough times.
  67. ![](images/thread39/t39-p48.jpg)
  68. ## Update, May 27 2020
  69. At the start of the mvt there were a lot of pamphlets on various respirator combos one can get for withstanding teargas, like the one below from Aug. We've seen these reappear in recent days, a sign that HKers are prepared to walk into the fire & smoke once again.
  70. ![](images/thread39/t39-p49.jpg)