#30 2019

Hong Kong is my Myth and my Legend

“Given that Hong Kong has already become part of my fate, if it were to disappear, then where would my myths and legends drift to, where would they alight, and where could they survive?”

Yan Lianke is one of China’s foremost authors. His recent texts have become more critical of society, which has made it harder to get them published. His works have either been retracted or not re-published. In this text Yan Lianke describes his relationship with Hong Kong—this familiarly strange and strangely familiar place. To him Hong Kong remains a myth—a distant fairy-tale place that never becomes a reality. 

Brave new city: the once fictional dystopian future of Hong Kong is now a reality

Writer and human rights activist Jason Y. Ng writes for The Dissident Blog about how the long arm of the Chinese mainland stretches ever further into Hong Kong. Since the handover to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, the relative freedom of Hong Kong has

Writing Despite Inarticulateness

“They did everything to keep us asleep,” says Tammy Ho Lai-Ming, writer and Chairperson of PEN Hong Kong, in one of her poems. Ever present in her poetry is the worry she feels for the future of Hong Kong and the

Of Forbidden Words and Architecture in Hong Kong

In “Of Forbidden Words and Architecture in Hong Kong” author and journalist Ilaria Maria Sala sketches the development of architecture in Hong Kong as it opens more and more doors to Beijing and the interests of the Chinese mainland

Takeout Poem

Writer and poet Cao Shuying was born in Harbin in northern China, but is currently living in Hong Kong. The Dissident Blog publishes one of her poems—a poem where an unruly rebellious force is ever present: “There is always

Burn After Reading

Liu Waitong’s poem “Burn After Reading” is a personal text that depicts generations of suffering against the foil of Chinese history. The poem initially consists of memories until we are moved forward in time to 2045—a time

What are we talking about when we talk about Hong Kong literature?

What is Hong Kong literature? Poet and publisher Louise Law addresses this question in her text exploring the various literary tendencies in Hong Kong. This city, informed by linguistic and cultural diversity, is beginning

Picnic at Victoria

”Justice is left unserved and history continues to be overwritten” Yoyo Chan, writer and translator, writes in her story that is taking place on the twenty-ninth memorial day of the massacre at Tiananmen square. Two friends

A Tale of Two Places

Jessica Yeung is a docent of translation at Hong Kong Baptist University where her research includes minority cultures. In this text she depicts the common denominators that weave together Hong Kong and Xinjiang—two

Transforming Hong Kong

Bao Pu runs the publishing house New Century Press in Hong Kong that has published politically sensitive books since 2005. In Jojje Olsson’s interview Bao Pu describes a Hong Kong that once had a flourishing book and

Voices from Hong Kong with China in View

When we started up The Dissident Blog in 2011 our ambition was to create a forum for people to tell stories that relate to the pervasive and explosive struggle for freedom of expression. By publishing writers and journalists who are not allowed to publish in their home countries, The Dissident Blog wanted to retrieve the democratic head start and function as a worldwide link between readers, writers, and media. We have published texts from fifty-five countries and today—because we publish texts in their original language, as well as in English and Swedish—we have readers in approximately one hundred and fifty countries. Over the years we have made accessible texts that have been censored or confiscated, texts that have disturbed those in power and been smuggled out of prisons, and texts that due to self-censorship have even struggled to be imagined. 

We have reached our goal to create a platform that functions as a refuge for writers subjected to oppression, persecution, and threat. 

How have we managed this?

Being a part of PEN’s global network that links together one hundred and forty-nine PEN centres in over one hundred countries, we daily come into contact with writers who are engaged in issues concerning the freedom of expression, and this is the fundament of The Dissident Blog. Without our network we would never have been able to achieve our goal. 

This network is also behind our current issue. Early this year Tammy Ho Lai-Ming, PEN Hong Kong’s Vice Chairperson (now the Chairperson), writer and poet, contacted me to suggest that we create an issue about Hong Kong. “There is a lot at stake here,” she said.

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