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Harcourt Village

November 20, 2014


Maoshan: Harcourt Village (Click to enlarge)

Editor’s note: This multi-panel drawing provides a panoramic view of life during the Umbrella Movement on Harcourt Road, the center of the occupied area in Admiralty in Hong Kong’s Central District. The drawing takes the form of the celebrated scroll painting, “Along the River During the Qingming Festival” (清明上河圖, 清明上河图) from the Song Dynasty, which depicts daily life in Bianjing, today's Kaifeng, in Henan Province.


When summer turned into autumn this year, Hong Kongers, who like watching seasons change, focused instead on the Movement. Almost imperceptibly, daylight fades earlier and earlier each day, and, in the blink of an eye, winter is fast approaching. Rain, the noontime heat, even chilly nights have not shaken the hearts of the Hong Kong people. In the dark of night, there are people making wood furniture for the students every day; there are people teaching German, democracy, and moviemaking; there are people underneath the escalator [next to Lennon Wall] attentively explaining to old grannies how democracy works; there are people distributing boiled eggs for breakfast; there are people planting flowers in front of bulldozers; and there are people sitting on the ground boiling fish soup. There are also people holding up umbrellas for students in stormy nights, tirelessly guarding first-aid stations around the clock. Then there are those who give out simple but beautiful little light bulbs to the villagers, who are drawing and reading inside their tents.

“It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” Here, Hong Kong’s people have all broken free from their selves that knew only to complain, and demonstrate by action their determination to fight for democracy. Harcourt Village will one day turn back into a highway, but the days here will never be forgotten. Only if everyone could treasure the old friends who have stood together in this fight and the newly made friends, can this powerful force continue. We must never have extravagant expectations that the Movement will succeed the first time, nor can we give up easily because we cannot see our hope realized. Only if we stand together in our hearts can we continue. Let us hope that we will find even more comrades-in-arms here who share our common goal, to form an even more powerful force and gather even greater confidence to face this twisted world.

Fighting for genuine universal suffrage does not mean building a utopia; rather, it is to work out a system that can truly supervise those who wield power. This is what Hong Kong lacks now.

Maoshan (Connie Yuen, 袁明珊)

A graduate of Cambridge University in children’s literature, she works as a “detective,” to reorganize Hong Kong’s history from old newspaper illustrations. When she is not working, she floats among small streets, old alleys, the seashore, and her workspace, writing stories and drawing illustrations.

Return to Hong Kong: Voices of the People

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