Friday, July 19, 2019

More on -- and of -- Hong Kong's Lennon Walls!

Notice that colorful pedestrian overpass in the distance? 

A closer look reveals that much of its color is thanks to hundreds, 
if not thousands, of post-it notes stuck on its glass walls

Like other Hong Kong Lennon Walls, there are messages
written in English along with Traditional Chinese characters

A friend living in the US asked me earlier today whether there are protests daily in Hong Kong.  I can understand why, especially from a distance, this can appear to be the case as about the only time that Hong Kong gets mentioned in international news report these days, it's with regards to the many and large anti-extradition bill protests that have taken place over the past month and a half now.

But while it does appear to be so that not a single weekend has gone by since June 9th without at least one protest against the still not yet withdrawn extradition bill -- and, increasingly, Carrie Lam and her government as a whole and police brutality too for good measure -- there remain many week days that are free of protest: that is, if one excludes doing so on social media and on Lennon Walls; both of which have become serious battlegrounds along with the streets themselves and, occasionally, also shopping malls.

Tai Po's Lennon Wall -- which is more of a tunnel as it's really very long and large -- has been particularly targeted by "blue ribbon" protesters, no doubt because of its size and prominence in the public imagination.  Early today came news of pro-government individuals having been bussed in (some say, from Mainland China) to deface it in the hours of the morning.  Even while this act aroused some ire and disgust, people aren't taking it too much to heart as there's confidence among those who have had a hand in creating the Lennon Walls and making them creative environments for people to express their solidarity with one another along with frustrations at the government that the Tai Po Lennon Wall is not only going to be restored but also grow bigger.   

As of July 16th, there were over 130 Lennon Walls in existence in Hong Kong.  And at the Hong Kong Book Fair yesterday, I saw at least three mini Lennon Walls erected by different companies, with messages on Post-It notes contributed by various book fair attendees.  In addition, yet another Lennon Wall has sprung up on a pedestrian bridge near the fair venue

Pedestrian bridges and overpasses appear to be popular places for Lennon Walls.  In the past week, I've come across three in three different parts of Hong Kong -- with the one in Causeway Bay being particularly impressive and, here's a sign of our troubled times, manned by a volunteer presumably on the lookout for those sad individuals with destructive tendencies who evidently don't agree with the messages posted on the Lennon Walls that include ones urging people to do such as "Love Hong Kong" and with such apparently inflammatory sentiments like "Hong Kongers, don't give up"! 

No comments: