Ever since China implemented the National Security Law in Hong Kong, fear and insecurity have prevailed in the city. The freedom of the people is increasingly restricted but past protests have made it clear: millions of Hong Kong citizens reject communist China. They want democracy and they want freedom.
With the “Hong Kong Diaries”, 17 German journalists took a look at the still active democracy movement. The team succeeded in convincing eight people from Hong Kong for this project who documented two weeks of their lives in detail – always at the risk of being arrested. They answered the question individually: How does it feel to lose freedom? In the following documentary, you will meet four of them. Below, you can learn about all eight of these stories in multimedia diaries.
Sacrificing his nursing studies for full-time activism, Owen Chow now spends his life shadowed by mainland China’s authorities. The 23-year-old is considered the unofficial spokesperson of the 12 Hong Kong citizens imprisoned in China – a role that also endangers his freedom.
Irene is a journalist. She grew up in Great Britain, but Hong Kong is her home city. She writes opinion pieces about her generation, enjoys going to gay bars, and belongs to the privileged Western bubble. While many young Hongkongers her age take to the streets to protest, she has lost hope in politics. She strictly rejects violence. But the fear for her hometown remains.
Johnson is a restless ambassador. Passionately but wisely, he fights as a human rights activist against the dying of democracy in his hometown. He feels burdened by conflicts with his pro-Chinese father and by his friends’ imprisonment for activism, but his fighting spirit is undiminished.
Clara Cheung is a district councillor in the district of Wan Chai, Hong Kong. The mother of two daughters was elected last year when the pro-democracy camp won the majority for the first time. She is also an artist and fights passionately for the freedom of expression in Hong Kong.
Toby is a student and an activist and remarkably young. Because he fears repercussions, he wants neither to reveal his age nor to show his face. No wonder, since he had to learn the hard way what it means to live under an oppressive regime.
Rebel is an anonymous activist in the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. She joins as many protests as possible, even after the promulgation of the National Security Law. In her professional life, she works with people with disabilities. Rebel says she will fight until she dies.
Sam Cheung is a pro-democracy district councillor in Tuen Mun, a suburb of Hong Kong, where he lives with his wife and relatives. He feels deeply for his community and works hard for it every day. However, he faces repression from the government.
Kacey Wong is all about visual art: practically, theoretically, and as an activist. For the Hongkonger born in 1970, this has had one dominant implication for the last decade: how does it feel to live in an uncertain home? How does one aestheticize resistance, fear, and hope? In his Diary, he invites us into this on-going process.