"It happens here and now" : digital media documentation during the Umbrella Movement

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsPresentation


The use of social media as documentation has been much noted, but there is a specific role and resonance to documenting social movement on social media. Amidst that, the precariousness of the social movement space in the Umbrella Movement makes it all the more expedient for protesters at the occupied sites (of Admiralty and Mongkok) to document it (their occupation) while it lasts. [The documentation acts as a fixation of the originally space of flux, apart from documenting the movement.] The challenges this brings to documentation of the individual (as well as the activists), is coupled with the structuration of social media settings, as the narrativization/ (self)representation in the former is being negotiated with the socio-technical architectures and affordances of the latter. This paper examines the politics of archiving at a movement such as the Umbrella Movement, as it asks: how do individuals and activists use the social media to document, for what? How would the strategies of documenting be different between the unorganized, individual protester and the organized activists? How does the documentation negotiate with the archival possibilities and confines of social media functions such as the timeline? Based on the analysis of archival techniques and platforms, surveys conducted at the movement sites, as well as focused interviews with individual protesters as well as media activists, this paper will situate these questions in the context of the Umbrella Movement. It aims to discuss the dynamics as well as tensions involved in using social media as a platform to witness, document, and remember social movement, which in the case of the Umbrella Movement, is about occupying spaces of flux. It hopes to contribute to a deeper understanding of the complex interplay between social media and social movement, at an increasingly turbulent juncture in the global scene, and locally in Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2015
EventWUN Understanding Global Digital Cultures Conference 2015 - Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Duration: 25 Apr 201526 Apr 2015


ConferenceWUN Understanding Global Digital Cultures Conference 2015
Country/TerritoryHong Kong
CityHong Kong
OtherSchool of Communications, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of '"It happens here and now" : digital media documentation during the Umbrella Movement'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this