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Thine own self be true - Tammy Lai-Ming HO

“This above all, to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night, the day, thou canst not then be false to any man”

Tammy Lai Ming Ho’s prose poetry about the protests and state repression in Hong Kong references Polonius’s famous advice to Laertes in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. She articulates the essential struggle of the individual in times of suffering. Overwhelmed by the magnitude of state repression, and untethered by partisan media that questions our very notions of what is real and what is not, I find it fascinating, how Ho’s strident assertions chronicle the symptomatic ruptures of a democracy falling apart, and a city. I have been having conversations with friends in Hong Kong and we share assurances of solidarity. When a friend wrote to me days after Article 370 was abrogated in Kashmir, “Hong Kong stands with Kashmir”, I remember tears flooding my eyes.

There is absolutely no comparison in the different complexities that plague our twin circumstances today, but every piece of news I hear only reminds me how we are building solidarities of resistance, and how much we have to learn from our friends. I share these thoughts not as an academic exercise, but as a reaffirmation of humanity, and a beacon in the darkness that is this disorienting sequence of events that we see unfolding before us.


First Image: Umbrellas in Victoria Park, Aug. 8 2019. Second Image: When 2m protestors flooded Hong kongs streets in the first call…..





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