Resistant Narratives at the Edge of the Sovereign State: Pirate Ocean and Farmer Enclave in Hong Kong, 1950s–2010s

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Abstract

This article analyzes how two narratives about Hong Kong function as hidden resistance transcripts against Chinese state sovereignty in different historical periods. First, maritime piracy on southern Chinese coasts has been appropriated in Hong Kong regional narratives to reflect the city’s collective imaginary. Pirate gang was regarded as an epitome of the refugee society of the 1950s, projecting liberation from state control. Second, inchoate agrarian narratives under the looming power of the Chinese sovereign state after the 1997 Handover seeks to secure the community as a self-sufficient place. It advocates the revival of farming in order to voice the dissent from the increasingly centralized rule, while embedding sentiment for the locality within a series of modern global discourses, such as ecology movements, organic farming, food sovereignty, and preservation of heritage. The two narratives are hidden transcripts that represent potential events to be reactivated under oppression and to play strategic roles in power politics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalHong Kong Studies
Volume2
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

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