Liminal PodQuest #4: Be Water - Hong Kong’s fast-flowing pro-democracy movement hero image

Liminal PodQuest #4: Be Water - Hong Kong’s fast-flowing pro-democracy movement

New Liminal PodQuest webisode released on 26 November 2020 at 21h CET

With the Boom Toolkit for Covid-19 and the Liminal PodQuests we're bringing you interactive, collective, reflective, psychoactive perspectives to help us all to become friends with uncertainty. A brand new webisode of the Liminal PodQuests is coming your way on Thursday 26 November 2020 at 21h CET. 

Be Water - Hong Kong’s fast-flowing pro-democracy movement

Over 10,000 people have been arrested during the Hong Kong protests since June 2019 and the majority are under 29 years old. A struggle for freedom of speech, democratic processes, government transparency and accountability is at stake. It is a heated, modern David versus Goliath battle, with an abundance of violence between police and activists, masterful use of technology to deflect state surveillance, confusing media circuses and en route to pioneering a grassroots, leaderless, pro-democracy movement.

From Thailand to Chile, from Belarus to Poland and beyond, protesters are building on Hong Kong’s blueprint for resisting state authority, inspired by the resourcefulness, courage and selfless commitment of people often in their teenage years. “Whatever the cost, we will not damp this on the next generations!” They scream in their protests, making many adults realise their own disconnection from the risks looming on the future of their children and reflecting the same concerns expressed by the young activists of Fridays of Future.

In this webisode we will listen to the personal account of Simon Cheng, one of the Hong Kong activists, and Frances Hui, founding director of the  ‘We The HongKongers’ organisation, to find out why and how this movement started and gained such momentum, what are their requests, their fears, their dreams and their nightmares? What do democracy and freedom of speech look like in the eyes of a young Hong Konger? What’s at stake for the future of the protests and what can the rest of the world learn from the wins and fails of this exceptional case-study of anti-authoritarian grassroots movement building? How can this movement be an example for the current global threats on the democratic systems, the rise of populism and extremisms?


Simon Cheng Man-kit (Chinese: 鄭文傑; born 1990) is a Hong Kong activist. He was a former trade and investment officer at the British Consulate-General Hong Kong. Cheng was detained by Chinese authorities in August 2019 when he returned from a business trip in Shenzhen. Cheng denied the accusation of being a British spy and added that Chinese agents tortured him in an attempt to make him confess. Cheng subsequently fled to London and was granted asylum in June 2020.

Frances Hui is the founding director of We The Hongkongers, an organisation that promotes the culture and identity of Hongkongers in the U.S. Previously a journalist, her column "I am from Hong Kong, not China" in April 2019 was a widespread piece across the globe and was featured by international media, such as The New York Times, Washington Post, and NBC.