In July 2021, five speech therapists were arrested for creating three illustrated children’s books critical of the government. Their convictions under a law dating back to British colonial rule followed in September 2022 with prison sentences of 19 months each. The three women and two men were accused of publishing and distributing “seditious publications” that the court said would brainwash children and incite hatred towards mainland China.
The arrest and conviction come in the context of widespread persecution of members of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, which intensified after the enactment of the draconian National Security Law for Hong Kong. In dealing with younger generations, the sensitivity of the Chinese and Hong Kong governments is revealed: the claim to interpretive sovereignty does not allow for an alternative narrative of recent Hong Kong history to the government narrative.
This evening’s reading will be the first of the three books, “THE GUARDIANS of SHEEP VILLAGE”, which is about sheep defending their village from the wolves of the neighbouring ‘wolf village’. The unmistakable parallels between fiction and events of the 2019 -20 Hong Kong protests will be looked at after the reading. An open conversation with the audience will raise questions about what children’s books can dare to do and how far free expression can go in an increasingly authoritarian Hong Kong.
Datum / date: 17.11.2022 (Donnerstag/Thursday)
Zeit / time: 19.00
Adresse / address: Haus der Demokratie und Menschenrechte, Greifswalder Straße 4, 10405 Berlin
Sprachen / languages: Deutsch & Englisch
Eintritt / admission: kostenfrei (keine Anmeldung erforderlich) / free of charge (no registration required)