Visual Statement

Real Suffrage

“When the British handed over Hong Kong to China in 1997, the ‘special administrative region,’ it was determined, would follow a policy of ‘one country, two systems.’ Hong Kong was promised democracy; yet the process has stalled. For more than two months last year, thousands of protesters, me included, united for more robust voting rights. And though the student-led demonstrations were peaceful, the police responded with pepper spray and tear gas. For protection, the students used umbrellas; thus, the Umbrella Movement was born. And it isn’t dead: More protests occurred in June, when lawmakers were considering the government’s political reform package.

The yellow I use in the ribbons, umbrellas, and banners (‘I want real universal suffrage’) symbolizes our peaceful fight. The red, white, and blue cloth in the foreground is a cheap material commonly used in Hong Kong and represents the soil on which the city stands. Our demand never reaches Beijing, which is 
set high and far in the background.”

Winnie Davies is an artist based in Hong Kong.

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