Reclaiming the city as home in postcolonial Hong Kong: Art and politics in the contestation of urban space (1997-2014) /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Ting, Chun Chun, author.
Ann Arbor : ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, 2015
Description:1 electronic resource (238 pages)
Format: E-Resource Dissertations
Local Note:School code: 0330
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Other authors / contributors:University of Chicago. degree granting institution.
Notes:Advisors: Paola Iovene; Prasenjit Duara Committee members: Kyeong-Hee Choi.
Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 77-02(E), Section: A.
Summary:Focusing on post-handover Hong Kong, this dissertation examines citizens' resistance against the intensifying threat of disappearance caused by gentrification and the city's integration with mainland China. Underlying its analysis is the politicization of urban planning and place-making; the case of post-1997 Hong Kong shows that urban space is a central locus in the struggle to redefine the city and local identity. Ranging from common people's livelihoods through nationalist discourses of belonging to local community claims to a homegrown identity, let alone the capitalist drive for profit, all these disparate issues and activities drawn upon equally disparate and often competing interpretations of what the urban space is or should be. By paying particular attention to the increasing intersection between urban movements and artistic activism, I argue that distinctively assertive self-definitions and political engagements arose in the public and cultural discourses of post-handover Hong Kong, discernably displacing the poststructuralist questioning of identity, which prevailed the pre-1997 era. Without essentializing the local, the discourse of Hong Kong identity has underwent a shift of paradigm from disappearance to reinvention or becoming, one that prefigure its political and artistic transformations in the future.
Designed as a case study of place-making efforts, each of the three body chapters explores how political action and cultural representation come together to forge alternative imaginations of the city and reshape the political subjectivities of Hong Kong citizens. The first chapter offers a preservationist movement that sought to redefine a colonial heritage site. It is followed by Chapter 2 that unpacks a community documentary filmmaking project whose aim was to represent, reaffirm, and recreate neighborhood networks. The last chapter examines a series of films set in a suburban ghetto to rethink what constitutes the periphery. While each chapter addresses varying dilemmas and negotiations with the economic imperatives underlying contemporary processes of place-making, the dissertation as a whole maintains its focus on the activists' and artists' efforts to create a political praxis that defends the local as a living critique of global capitalism. The varied modes of urban critique and resistance in "postcolonial" Hong Kong, I argue, lead us to reconceptualize the city as an urban formation that cannot be totally subsumed by categories of nation, capital, or colonial legacy, but one whose citizenry calls for everyday practice of democracy.