This essay deals with the social and political after-shock introduced by SARS, which is considered here as both a public health outbreak and an urban cultural crisis. In Hong Kong, several years after the epidemic episode, the people's voice regarding urban spatial politics, governance, and the media has not only grown louder, but has also been profoundly transformed into collective effervescence. This essay is based on over 50 interviews of ordinary Hong Kong residents from a wide spectrum of demographics. A particular focal point of the interviews was, inevitably, the participants' reformulation of their identity as a function of urban crisis. Chiefly a documentation of the vernaculars of public criticism offered by the citizens of Hong Kong, this essay relates post-SARS public sentiments to the (somewhat fiddly) development of democratic ideals that is animating our urban imagination today.
Bibliographical notePaper presented at the Workshop on Urban Imaginaries, 2004, Lingnan University, Hong Kong, China.
- Hong Kong
- Public Criticism
- Urban Imaginary