Note — Aug 25, 2019

A Walk In Hong Kong

Seen in → No.91

Source →

For various reasons I decided to skip this one last week but since then I’ve mentioned it two or three times elsewhere, so lets correct the miss. Excellent post by Maciej on his participation / investigation of the Hong Kong protests, including how they function. And I’m definitely keeping a note of his use (coining?) of “zeroth world cities” and plan on using it.

If you have never visited one of the Zeroth World cities of Asia, like Taipei or Singapore, it can be hard to convey their mix of high density, mazelike design, utterly reliable public services, and high social cohesion, any more than it was possible for me or my parents to imagine a real American city, no matter how many movies we saw. And then to have to write about protests on top of it! […]

There is nothing you can pay for in a protest - volunteers hand out gas masks, water, tea, and endless flyers, designed and printed with astonishing alacrity in response to each day’s events. Anything you may need, people have donated. […]

The protests are intentionally decentralized, using a jury-rigged combination of a popular message board, the group chat app Telegram, and in-person huddles at the protests. […]

This sounds like it shouldn’t possibly work, but the protesters are too young to know that it can’t work, so it works. […]

Rather than standing their ground, they have found it more effective to melt away and reassemble somewhere else. The tactic is a classic one, but I am impressed with the ability of a decentralized group to adopt it so effectively. […]

Further reading: Nice thread by Maxime Reynié on Twitter concerning the graphic design of Hong Long protest posters, comics, and more (in French but lots of visuals). And Maciej again, this time with a thread comparing what he saw from the ground with the Chinese propaganda Twitter enables. And: