Multi-temporalities of protest songs in Hong Kong umbrella movement

Jie YING, Jieying Klavier WANG

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


Plenty of research has highlighted the significance of music in collective actions for evoking and reifying aspirations and grievances, as well as consolidating solidarity among activists. This paper will contribute to the literature on pop music in protest movements by analyzing the meanings of three Cantopop (Cantonese pop music) songs in the construction of a collective Hong Kong identity during the 2014 Umbrella Movement. Through the perspective of the cultural studies of music, this paper will examine the contradictions and connections between the songs. Tracing their respective historical contexts and impacts on Hong Kong society, while engaging with theoretical discussions on the function of pop songs in protests, this paper will unpack how the three songs (re)define three spatial registers: the Umbrella Movement, the Hong Kong society and the generational location. The historical epochs giving rise to these songs and the contradictory ethos embodied by them were (re)imagined and (re)articulated in the Umbrella Movement protest. These three songs registered the past, present and future of Hong Kong. Together, they epitomized the trajectory of Hong Kong people's identity, past colonial ideology and the myth of economic evolution and the in-situ re-interpreted and re-defined of the past "memory" in this Umbrella Movement.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017
Event2017 American Association of Geographers' Annual Meeting - Boston, United States
Duration: 05 Apr 201709 Apr 2017


Conference2017 American Association of Geographers' Annual Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States


Ying, J., & Wang, K. (2017, April). Multi-temporalities of protest songs in Hong Kong umbrella movement. Paper presented at the American Association of Geographers 2017 Annual Meeting, Hynes Convention Center, Boston, United States.


  • Protest song
  • Social movement
  • Hong Kong


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