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2.9 KiB

A Little Fall of Rain

Sep 27, 2019

It's 5ys since the Umbrella Mvmt. We failed to win suffrage then but had vowed to return. Well, we're back. But the umbrella as a symbol has changed and reflects how much HKers have learnt from that first awakening 1/7


The umbrella became a symbol of resistance 5ys ago. And it still is. In a lot of art from this mvmt, the umbrella is used as a shield against teargas and other projectiles. Note bauhinia on the black brolly - our very city has become a bulwark vs. creeping authoritarianism 2/7

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This time round, we see images of umbrellas as weapons: frontline 'braves' wield umbrellas valiantly like swords, ready to (and also actually) strike. This was a lesson learnt from the UM - peaceful protests yield nothing but greater repression. Defence has turned to offence. 3/7

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The 'hero shots' of fighters with umbrellas are inspirational, sure. But HK protest art also very aware of reality - what damage can an everyday object, an ordinary people, possibly do vs. guns and the power that commands them? As the art here suggests, it is not a fair fight 4/7

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The other lesson learnt from 5yrs ago was the importance of unity to sustain the mvmt. And with that, the umbrella gains new meaning as a symbol. It offers a space for all to come together - 'brave' or 'peaceful', young or old, rich or poor... We're all in this together. 5/7

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It might seem we give UM too much credit for current mvmt. But the art suggests HKers see the two as connected. Note the passing of the baton/brolly here, under that Avengers quote. Note how we describe today as a fulfilment of our vow to return, even if it took 5yrs. 6/7

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And maybe that's the final most important lesson - that ideas take root and bloom only when their season comes. Below, our bauhinia grow from the support of umbrellas. In the others, the umbrellas are the flowers, blossoming across the land. It's only a matter of time 7/?

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Bonus umbrella pictures (because there are so many beautiful ones!) - all from TG:

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