I spent the late summer of 2019 on a residency at the Academy of Visual Arts in Hong Kong. The project I proposed was centered around connecting and actively engaging with local people and spaces. As my lineage resides in two countries of former British rule (Ireland and Guyana), I wanted to see if conversations could be opened up with a space that also shared links with the empire – specifically to see how Hongkongers considered their experience in proximity to British and Chinese culture, power, and political influence. This residency fell at the same time as the Extradition Bill protests of 2019-20.
One afternoon I saw a local resident digging up weeds on a public footpath. I thought back to the previous day where I had been interviewing locals at a protest. I thought about the importance of each individual forming a collective space. I thought about the power of a single vote.
The following day I dug up weeds in the local area.