Global protests in 2019: discussion with Forensic Architecture Eyal Weizman & the HK context through the eyes of a photographer, human rights observer & scholar
In just ten days we will be welcoming 2020 and bidding farewell to 2019, a year of considerable turbulence not just for Hong Kong, but also for much of the rest of the world. People in more than 20 countries have taken to the streets to demand reforms and change. And those demands are widely shared covering a wide field of opposition to corruption, concern over inequality and injustice, demands for political autonomy, protests over policing and the need to address climate change – it’s all there.
With the rise of authoritarianism in a growing number of countries, much of this unrest is being met with a harsh response. This week, producer Liz Yuen talked to Eyal Wiezman, the founding director of Forensic Architecture, a research agency at London’s Goldsmiths University that describes its work as undertaking spatial and media investigations in state and corporate violence, human rights violations, and environmental destruction.
In a digitally linked world, the global wave of protests this year has been propelled by the use of social media and messaging apps. Four and a half billion people, many of them activists, are connected by the internet and technology such as encrypted-messaging software. Learning from the past, where leaders were arrested and persecuted, social movements have seen the benefit of not relying on visible leaders. Instead they are spearheaded by anonymous groups of young people. The internet also enables protesters from different countries to watch, and connect with, one another.