The Umbrella Festival is a multidisciplinary art festival which actively responds to Hong Kong’s current societal concerns and explores how the sociopolitical circumstances are posing an ineffaceable effect on individuals in Hong Kong and in our future.

With a specific dedication to local young artists, The Umbrella Festival presents diversified works to reenact and rethink about the issues concerned and hopes to provoke critical thinking and discussion, including visual art exhibitions, film and video screening, performance art, dramas, dance and many more.

Proudly presented by the MA Programmes in the Culture Studies Division of the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong, the festival will take place from the 17th to 31st May at the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre (JCCAC).

Below is documentation from activities in which MA in Visual Culture Studies programme participated in organising.  For more information on the festival, please visit the Facebook page.

Love and Combat in the Occupied Streets | Exhibition

The photography exhibition “Love and Combat in the Occupied Streets” endeavors to provide a platform for all to reflect on this significant social movement, and to pour out individual emotions and aspirations through sharing photos.

Write Our Global Umbrella Stories

Many of us have our own umbrella stories. We store those stories as images, songs and video recordings in our cellphone. Today it is time to share and write about those memories. CUHKIM is an interactive multimedia forum to document those stories and a collective app writing project. We invite you to extend our narratives by sharing your umbrella stories with us. We will write our blossoming stories in a world that has no boundaries.

Our Golden Era | Documentary Screening

Throughout the Umbrella Movement, people recorded an abundance of footage whose length, complexity and significance have made it difficult for filmmakers to complete their work in a short period of time. All documentary in this screening have only recently finished editing. This marks the first time they are publicly presented to Hong Kong at large and the first time independent filmmakers have jointly presented after the Umbrella Movement.

Take a Festival Walk

One of the important legacies of the Umbrella Movement is to deconstruct and reclaim public space in the city of Hong Kong. The actual occupation might be over for now, but the rational of recreating civil space remains amongst all of us. In this activity, we invite all interested citizens to join our wandering tour in one of the upscale shopping malls in Hong Kong: Festival Walk to facilitate better communication about an lifestyle alternative to the cycle of work, consume and die.

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Statement by Prof. Katrien Jacobs

Programme Director, M.A. in Visual Culture Studies

The Umbrella Festival and its varied exhibitions and performances hopes to capture a new attitude towards art and social media in Hong Kong that is closely intertwined with a youthful democracy movement, acts of civil disobedience and an iconography of resistance.  The city-wide occupation created liminal spaces in which people transgressed into novel sensibilities to reflect on dark political crisis and aspirations towards change.  The challenge of this festival is to present and radiate these sensibilities beyond the occupied streets of Hong Kong in Fall 2014.  It is not about art as documentation of past events, nor about a collection of honorable objects, but about a way of life and critical intelligence that needs art to seduce its audiences.  I hope that you will encounter the good atmosphere and sexy people that you may have met during the Umbrella Movement - a peculiar kind of multi-citizen dialogue and friendliness, humour and an embrace of profanity and frank commetary on political clamp-down, a stirring of umbrella feminism and queerness, and finally, a chance to rebuild the university itself in different kinds of locations.

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