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Durham University

Department of Geography

Staff Profile

Publication details for Dr Hung-Ying Chen

Chen, Hung-Ying & Barber, Lachlan CityPsyche—Hong Kong. City. 2020;24:220-232.

Author(s) from Durham


Hong Kong citizens’ fierce and evolving struggles, developing from the summer of 2019 onwards, have spawned countless stories, protest tactics, sacrifices, and debates in Hong Kong society and beyond. In this article, we probe Hong Kong’s condition, asking: what is the psyche of the city for which protesters are willing to risk their futures? What are the soul and esteem that these protesters hope to preserve for Hong Kong? How does the psyche of the city in revolt reflect the broader political-economic and social conditions of Hong Kong? To venture answers we adopt the notion ‘topological operations’ to unpack the constitution of the spatial and the psychic in three threads: the search for liberation; the transformation of fear into aspiration; and a mixture of caring and destructing practices. In so doing, we suggest the battles of Hong Kongers have revealed an autonomous departure from territorial contouring plans—one which inspires and reverberates far away—to the emerging ethics of care towards places in their fullness in which impossibility actuates the possible.