Mediating movement in occupied spaces : documentation on social media pages in the context of the Umbrella Movement

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Abstract

The umbrella movement that broke out in Hong Kong in September 2014 opened a new chapter in the nation’s political history and saw new unprecedented uses of social media. The firing of the teargas by the police on September 28 ignited intense anger and anxiety among Hong Kong people. The event rekindled many people’s proud identity as Hong Konger and allowed for its articulation. During the seventy-nine days when protesters occupied the busy roads of Admiralty, Mongkok and Causeway Bay, some set up Facebook pages and groups dedicated to the movement, apart from the usual acts of posting content on their own Facebook profiles. The spectacular and emotive charges of the Umbrella Revolution fueled and accentuated the use of social media for political commentary and discussion but also for documentation and archiving. This chapter explores how and why Hong Kongers made use of Facebook as a medium and platform to document and archives the movement. While the digital activism literature has focused on the internet’s capacities for organization and mobilization (Salter, 2003), much less has focused on social media’s role of documentation in social movements. Even less literature has analysed narrativity and aesthetics in the practice of documentation in social media in the context of social movements. Hence, I shall focus on the act and materiality of documentation, as an (affective) participation in the movement, and how it mediates between movement and (social media) spatiality. This chapter ultimately argues that documentation is affective political participation in how the social media as a social movement space enables ‘ordinary’ Facebook users as ‘sudden activists’ express and reflect over a social movement. This chapter also contributes to discussions of the role of the social in the political in focusing on the social motivations behind social media documentary practices.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTaking the Square: Mediated Dissent and Occupations of Public Space
EditorsMaria ROVISCO, Jonathan Corpus ONG
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRowman and Littlefield International
Chapter7
Pages139-156
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9781783483952
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016

Fingerprint

social media
documentation
facebook
social movement
Social Movements
Hong Kong
political history
Social Role
political participation
anger
mobilization
aesthetics
police
road
anxiety
Internet
organization
participation
event
Group

Cite this

LEUNG, Y. M. L. (2016). Mediating movement in occupied spaces : documentation on social media pages in the context of the Umbrella Movement. In M. ROVISCO, & J. C. ONG (Eds.), Taking the Square: Mediated Dissent and Occupations of Public Space (pp. 139-156). London: Rowman and Littlefield International.
LEUNG, Yuk Ming, Lisa. / Mediating movement in occupied spaces : documentation on social media pages in the context of the Umbrella Movement. Taking the Square: Mediated Dissent and Occupations of Public Space. editor / Maria ROVISCO ; Jonathan Corpus ONG. London : Rowman and Littlefield International, 2016. pp. 139-156
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LEUNG, YML 2016, Mediating movement in occupied spaces : documentation on social media pages in the context of the Umbrella Movement. in M ROVISCO & JC ONG (eds), Taking the Square: Mediated Dissent and Occupations of Public Space. Rowman and Littlefield International, London, pp. 139-156.

Mediating movement in occupied spaces : documentation on social media pages in the context of the Umbrella Movement. / LEUNG, Yuk Ming, Lisa.

Taking the Square: Mediated Dissent and Occupations of Public Space. ed. / Maria ROVISCO; Jonathan Corpus ONG. London : Rowman and Littlefield International, 2016. p. 139-156.

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsBook ChapterResearchpeer-review

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LEUNG YML. Mediating movement in occupied spaces : documentation on social media pages in the context of the Umbrella Movement. In ROVISCO M, ONG JC, editors, Taking the Square: Mediated Dissent and Occupations of Public Space. London: Rowman and Littlefield International. 2016. p. 139-156