Wednesday, 17 August, 7.30 – 10.00pm
Screening of exodus of nowhere, episode 1: the water is wide, Lee Wai Yi, Enoch Ng, and Kelvin Wu, Hong Kong 2002-13, 75mins. Selected and introduced by Ting Chun Chun (Hong Kong/Singapore), Assistant Professor, School of Humanities and Social Sciences (Chinese Division), NTU
the water is wide evolves around the intensifying conflicts between mainland Chinese migrants and local Hong Kong people in recent years. It tells the story of the very first controversy — the right of abode of Hong Kong citizens’ children who were born in Mainland China before the 1997 handover. The controversy ended in 1999 when the National People’s Congress in the People’s Republic of China reinterpreted the Hong Kong Basic Law to deprive these citizens of their right of abode in Hong Kong. Fourteen years after, we look back at this story and the right-of-abode fighters’ continuing struggle with this hardening border, in order to ask what defines us as humans, peoples, and communities.
Friday, 19 August, 7.00 – 10.00pm
Screening of exodus of nowhere, episode 2: gamble, Lee Wai Yi, Enoch Ng, and Kelvin Wu, Hong Kong 2013-14, 140mins. Selected and introduced by Ting Chun Chun.
One says, life is a gamble. Yet for the ones who are isolated and lacking in resources and information, every move is a gamble with their bare lives.
The grandfather who survived the embargo during the Korean war and the financial crisis of 1973; the sailor who witnessed the oil crisis and the Iran-Iraq war; people who fled Hong Kong to settle in England after the 1989 Tiananmen movement; the foreign domestic workers and Chinese farmers who travelled afar from their impoverished homes to cities where their contributions had never been recognised. Stories of seemingly unrelated individuals recount similar and connected experience with migration, ethnicity, borders, responsibility, and oppression in a globalised world. Hence we ask, what are the things that connect us as individuals with the world?
Saturday, 20 August, 1.00 – 4.00pm
Screening of exodus of nowhere, episode 3: rondo for the dis/placed, Lee Wai Yi, Enoch Ng, and Kelvin Wu, Hong Kong 2002-13, 210mins. Selected and introduced by Ting Chun Chun.
In a fragmented, non-linear style, exodus of nowhere: rondo for the dis/placed recounts a series of migration stories across Southeast Asia, mainland China, and Hong Kong. As these stories of border crossing highlight the manipulation of identity politics for colonial rule, nationalist consolidation, economic domination, etc., the film eloquently debunks the mainstream narratives of political history and definition of boundary. This critical stand subsequently enables the film to find a new way to tell the stories of the powerless and reveal the hurt suffered by communities who were pit against each other by the hands of power. The screening with be followed by a casual conversation between the audience and the filmmakers.
These screenings are organised as part of the public programme of Amar Kanwar: The Sovereign Forest.
Lee Wai Yi, Enoch Ng, and Kelvin Wu (Hong Kong) are all members of v-artivist, a Hong Kong based art group “participating in public life through art and video”. The group believes that ‘art is the creative expression of the relationship between individual and collective’, and is thus devoted to “bring art back to the people and let people return to art”. The productions of v-artivist cover various social issues concerning the lives of the grassroots. Most of their film-length productions are continuous participatory documentaries, including people in deep distress (2013), raging land 3 film series (2010-2012), walk on! shung ning road (2011), and where the yellow banner flies (2006). The essay-film trilogy exodus of nowhere is their response to the growing ethnic tension in contemporary Hong Kong. Other than filmmaking, v-artivist is also actively engaged in media literary movement to empower the grassroots' continuous and autonomous engagement with art.
Ting Chun Chun (Hong Kong/Singapore) received her PhD from the University of Chicago. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (Chinese Division), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Ting is presently working on a project 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.Image credits: Lee Wai Yi, Exodus of Nowhere, Episode 3: rondo for the dis/placed (2015), film still. Courtesy of The 13th Hong Kong Social Movement Film Festival.