HKFP finally made a foray into video production this year after hiring our first multimedia reporter. From a queer graduation ceremony, to a chat with the city’s last protest group, to a nostalgic look at a life on a local dairy farm, we present our favourite mini-documentaries and explainer videos from the past 12 months.
Voguing, or ballroom culture, has taken root in Hong Kong, providing a safe space for the LGBT+ community to express their queerness. In May, the Kiki Ball attracted queer performers and culture lovers to celebrate diversity without judgment. Voguing – which is characterised by highly stylised and flamboyant dance – originated in New York during drag competitions between the 1960s to 1980s. Two passionate performers document for HKFP how they prepared for the show and what the voguing scene means to them.
HKFP speaks to four film directors about navigating unclear red lines under Hong Kong’s security law. Whilst some now now enjoy free expression abroad, others have opted to stay, believing the restrictions could give rise to more creativity. The film authorities told HKFP that a total of three films have been banned since 2021 thus far – the first film bans since the 1997 Handover. At least 14 films have reported trouble in applying for screening approval over the past two years.
Two years after China imposed the sweeping national security law, the League of Social Democrats are the only pro-democracy group that still speaks out on the streets of the once-politically vibrant city. HKFP finds out what keeps them going.
By the time of the security law’s second anniversary, the city had seen almost 200 arrested under the legislation, with many denied bail. What happened to the city’s leading civil society figures, and top news outlets? HKFP explains with data.
“In mainstream media, it seems like girls who are [outside] of the standard don’t exist. Even if they do, their existence is considered not normal, or not beautiful,” Lezlie Chan, a 24-year-old plus-size model, tells HKFP. Chan recently made her first TV appearance on ViuTV’s Extra Beauty, a contest for plus-size women. Despite making it through to the last 12 contestants, she reveals why she was reluctant to join the show.
Tam Sau-wa and Anka Tam hope the conservation of the Old Dairy Farm senior staff quarters can give people a chance to discover part of the city’s history.
From rainbow-striped sashes to full drag attire, Hong Kong’s first queer graduation ceremony allowed LGBT+ students to celebrate a millstone as their most authentic selves. “Something about being queer, and an ethnic minority, makes you feel like you’re somehow different,” Moira Daphne Gonzales Toledo said, “[T]he general population of ethnic minorities is already less than the locals, so when you add in the factor of queer, it’s like so much more less.”
Meet Kris Lau, who launched a journalism-themed bookstore after losing his job at a now-defunct pro-democracy news outlet – its chief editors were arrested for allegedly publishing seditious content. “I have always thought of myself as a good journalist,” Lau told HKFP. Some went to teach, some left the news industry, but Lau decided to continue promoting “journalistic values” through books instead of news reports.
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