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“The city is a work of art and everyone is an artist”: collaborative protest art, participation and space reproduction at the 2014 Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement.
journal contributionposted on 15.04.2020, 08:55 by Georgios Patsiaouras
Despite the growing interest towards spatial practices of social movements, the use and capacity of collaborative protest art in reshaping urban spaces has remained under-discussed. Synthesizing empirical findings from the 2014 Hong Kong Umbrella Movement and Lefebvre’s (1991) theory of spatial reproduction, this paper examines how space was reproduced through the employment of protest art, not only at the main protest camps but also throughout the city of Hong Kong. First, the findings show how the strategic display of protest art’s universal symbolism and multifarious creativity attracted massive audiences’ attention and strengthened the movement’s collective identity. Second, the study indicates how a variety of spontaneous and all-inclusive collaborative arts projects shaped the city’s public spaces and modified the dominant conceived spaces of public transport and commercial activity. Finally, the paper suggests directions of future research on the transformative power of collaborative protest art as means of reshaping and reproducing urban spaces.