Centre of Urban History, Culture and Media

Story of the Month - November 2019

Story of the Month - November 2019 

每月故事 - 二零一九年十一 

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圖片說明:開幕典禮中,譚教授與嘉賓和表演者(圖片來源:陳凱欣)

Photo Caption: Prof. Tam, guests and performers in the opening ceremony (Photo credit: Connie Chan)

 

 

本中心的「多元文化行動計劃」於2019 年10月19日在葵興石籬(一)邨舉辦「多元文化在石籬」嘉年華,作為推廣正向族群關係和跨文化主義的知識轉移項目。

 

本計劃總監譚少薇教授在開幕致詞中指出, 香港很幸運地擁有多個族群在這裏定居, 讓我們每天都能享受豐富的文化特色, 如飲食、服飾、音樂藝術等, 我們只要抱持開放的眼光和胸懷,人人都可以是世界公民。

 

隨着開幕典禮的花炮聲,開始了多元文化表演。我們很榮幸邀請到印度舞教師Jackie Law 女士、尼泊爾裔的Ashmi女士, 和斯里蘭卡佛教與文化中心為嘉年華作表演嘉賓。他們分別表演印度古典舞、尼泊爾民族舞和斯里蘭卡融合舞蹈。Jackie為大家演出Rukmini Pravesam,是典型Kuchipudi舞劇序幕中的人物角色的自我介紹 (Daruvus)。Kuchipudi是源自印度南部安得拉邦的傳統舞蹈,亦是印度八種主要古典舞蹈之一,以多變的戲劇化表情及節奏快的舞步見稱。Ashmi則表演“到加里農場” 一曲,頌讚尼泊爾多元文化的一面,因為這首歌是講述某人回到祖國並欣賞她所留下的文化遺産。斯里蘭卡佛教與文化中心的融合舞蹈,通過將傳統鼓樂與現代音樂結合,向世界展示傳統鄉村舞的新詮釋。除了舞蹈表演,SARDA 樂隊為是次嘉年華演唱了一首名叫"Mero Prem" 的尼泊爾流行曲。Mero Prem 中文解作「愛我」,述説對愛情的看法; 雖然觀眾不懂尼語,但都被抒情的旋律打動。

 

 

精彩的舞台表演後,觀衆參加各個攤位活動,了解在港的少數族裔的不同文化——香港卡巴迪聯盟介紹了南亞運動卡巴迪的玩法和讓參加者一嚐這個亞運項目的滋味; 委内瑞拉裔的沃美娜女士設置了「拉丁角」, 介紹南美文化特色,還和大家玩piñatas; 斯里蘭卡佛教與文化中心向參加者介紹當地的香料和樂器。「多元文化行動計劃」則為大家帶來香港的巴基斯坦社群展覧, 以及民族服裝試穿體驗。

 

 

「多元文化行動計劃」為社創基金支持的項目,如欲了解更多項目內容請瀏覽以下網址。本計劃歡迎機構與公眾合作共同打造香港的多元文化和推動正向族群關係。http://www.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/~ant/knowledge-transfer/multiculturalism-in-action/index.html

 

 

The “Multicultural Carnival @ Shek Lei” was organized by Multiculturalism in Action Project in Shek Lei (1) Estate on 19 October 2019. This event in Kwai Hing was a knowledge-transfer program which aimed at promoting positive relationships among different ethnic groups and the concept of interculturalism.

 

In the opening speech, Project Director Prof. Siumi Maria Tam pointed out that Hong Kong is blessed with various ethnic groups living here, enabling our enjoyment of a rich multicultural environment, through different cuisines, clothing, music and art etc. Prof. Tam added that we can all be global citizens by opening our mind and arms.

 

 

After the opening ceremony everyone enjoyed the performances by Indian dance teacher Ms. Jackie Law, Ms. Ashmi from the local Nepali community, and the Sri Lanka Buddhist Cultural Centre. They performed Kuchipudi, Nepali dance, and Sri Lankan fusion dance respectively. Jackie presented a daruvu from “Rukmini Pravesam”, a typical Kuchipudi style opening dance that introduces a character. Ashmi performed “Gairi Khet Ko” which celebrates the multicultural aspect of Nepal as the song is about someone returning to the motherland and appreciating its heritage. The fusion dance performed by Sri Lanka Buddhist Cultural Centre is an experiment to fuse up-country dance (with traditional drum beats) and the rhythms of modern music. After the dances, SARDA Band performed a Nepalese song “Mero Prem” which means "Love Me". The audience was touched by the romantic melody even though they did not know Nepalese.

 

Visitors then participated in the activities at the game booths, which aimed at enhancing understanding of Hong Kong’s ethnic diversity. Kabaddi United Hong Kong introduced a South Asian sport Kabaddi, and offered hands-on sessions for the public. Ms. Omaira who came from Venezuela set up a “Latin Corner” to introduce the characteristics of South America and played piñatas with the children. The Sri Lanka Buddhist Cultural Centre introduced Sri Lankan spices and musical instruments. In addition, Multiculturalism in Action Project set up an exhibition about the Pakistan community in Hong Kong, and provided various ethnic costumes for interested individuals to have a try.

 

Multiculturalism in Action Project is a project with support from The Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund. Please visit http://www.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/~ant/knowledge-transfer/multiculturalism-in-action/index.htmlfor more details and contents of our project. Please contact us for potential collaboration to co-create an intercultural Hong Kong and to promote positive ethnic relations. 

 

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Story of the Month - October 2019

Story of the Month - October 2019 

每月故事 - 二零一九年十 

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:張教與一眾嘉賓及講者合照(:陳凱欣)

Photo Caption: Prof. Cheung takes a photo with guests and speakers (Photo credit: Connie Chan)

 

本中心主任張展鴻教授於9月19日舉辦了宋代香丸製作工作坊,讓大家體會製作香丸及了解香道。

 

 

工作坊一共分兩部分。第一部分邀請了來自日本的高澤太太及其兒子,為我們介紹及示範煉香,然後由觀眾親自體驗煉香。日本的煉香與宋代製香有異曲同工之妙。日本煉香從平安時代開始流行,由於佛教的影響,材料大部分都是從中國傳入。高澤太太把沉香、白檀、龍腦、丁字、甘松、安息香、薰陸、貝甲香、麝香和炭粉遂一加入碗中,之後逐少加入蜜糖壓實拌勻,然後揉成球狀並放置一年待熟。

 

第二部分由來自海南島的唐塘先生主持。唐塘先生首先講解香丸的歷史背景。香料早在宋代便有多種用法,包括醫療和煮食,並製成香珠和香膏作女士用品。唐塘先生同時介紹日本煉香與中國製香的不同。唐塘先生最後讓大家體驗製作香珠及香牌,使用的香料包括桂枝香、海南沉香等等。香料放在一起後加入水搓揉,直至不黏手便可用模具製成不同花紋的香珠和香牌。

 

 

是次工作坊約有30人參與,感謝各位踴躍參與,使是次活動成功進行。我們同時很榮幸高澤太太及其兒子和唐塘先生抽空為我們主持是次活動。

 

 

Our director, Prof. Cheung Chin-hung Sidney, had held a workshop about traditional incense of Song dynasty. Participants can enjoy making pomander and develop an understanding towards pomander making through the workshop.

 

 

Workshop had been divided into 2 parts. We had invited Ms. Takazawa Keiko and her son from Japan to introduce and demonstrate traditional incense for us, and then the participants could try to conduct the process. Traditional incense in Japan has been popular since heian period. Because of the influence of Buddhism, most materials come from China. Ms. Takazawa Keiko put aloes wood, sandalwood, borneol, clove, nader spikenar, benzoin, pistacia khinjuk, cuddy shell, musk and coal dust together. Then, honey was added and mix with the materials. After compaction and mixing, the spice was smashed into balls and should be placed for one year.

 

 

The second part was held by Mr. Tang. Mr. Tang first introduced the historical background of traditional incense. Spices have been used during Song dynasty for a variety of purposes, including medical, cooking and have been made into xiang zhu and xiang gao as women's products. Mr. Tang also introduced the differences between pomander making in Japan and China. Finally, Mr. Tang let participants to try making xiang zhu and xiang pai. Spices include gui zhi xiang and Hainan chen xiang were used. Water was added after spices were put together. We could make xiang zhu and xiang pai with different patterns by using different molds when spices were rubbed and weren’t sticky.

 

 

About 30 participants join the workshop. The workshop won’t be successful without active participation of participants. It is our pleasure to have Ms. Takazawa Keiko and her son and Mr. Tang being our guest speakers for this workshop.

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Story of the Month - September 2019

Story of the Month - September 2019 

每月故事 - 二零一九年 

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圖片來源:梁學彬  Photo Credit: Isaac Leung

 

 

公共性,屏幕文化和藝術介入

梁學彬  香港中文大學文化管理助理教授

 

想像一下,當你抬頭觀看現代高速發展的摩天大樓,建築外牆上光彩奪目的電子屏幕映入眼簾,令你驚嘆不止。與此同時,電車在人潮和車水馬龍的道路上穿梭而過,你身處其中,被五光十色的店舖、各式各樣的活動和駱驛不絕的上班族包圍著。行人迎面而來,穿上最時尚的流行服飾,爭相展現出亮眼的視覺風格。無論晴天雨天,人們遊走街頭,尋覓自己的靈感,盡情刻劃出狂熱都市生活中的永恆精神。電視屏幕提供無盡娛樂,進一步為漫無邊際的城市景觀添上戲劇色彩。有那麼一刻,你會以為自己生活在科幻電影的虛擬現實中。這就是香港,世界上最繁華的城市之一,文化大熔爐的縮影。跟其他大都會一樣,香港充滿活力的城市生活,並非只由街道或大廈等實質建築物構成,亦由這些建築的功能和非實質空間經驗所組成。當科技成為我們生活中不可或缺一部份,香港人慣常被以屏幕為本的媒體包圍:不管是智能手機地圖服務,還是越來越普及的擴增實境遊戲,人們透過屏幕跟城市連繫起來,而兩者之間關係越來越錯綜複雜。於是,漫遊者——現代都市經驗的原型,在今天數碼城市裡成為「手機遊者」——以移動定位與手機科技創造網絡體驗,散步於城市景觀中。屏幕,除了讓我們即使身處摩天大廈中仍能在彈指間漫遊世界,還能把香港都市景觀化身為一個舞台——超巨型屏幕構成交錯網絡與我們生活合而為一。發放著令人目炫神迷的廣告與流動影像,巨型屏幕突破了大廈外牆身份限制,成為傳遞訊息的媒介,在鋪天蓋地的資訊洪流中創造出現實。這些屏幕身處建築物、媒體科技以及新型態公民身份之間不斷變化的連接點,成為結合個人和集體經驗的「媒體建築」。

 

崇光藝術與文化項目與錄映太奇首個合作項目「人造風景」,以全球其中一個最具代表性的鬧市購物區銅鑼灣為中心呈現場域特定媒體藝術。在2019年三月,亞太區最大的LED戶外屏幕CIVISION放映了四件錄像藝術作品。在這個極度多元的市區裡,「人造風景」以創新藝術體驗,把銅鑼灣重新導向至不斷變化的城市體驗。卡娜《黑動》透過聲音演算生成,模擬自然中美學圖案,把銅鑼灣化身為一個神秘的未知宇宙,以獨特方式呈現水、岩石、空氣與雲的元素。施政《餘燼》把途人沉浸在一個人造「自然」景觀巨型迷宮裡,以想像平行時空引領他們遊走其中。陸明龍《Nøtel》探討巨型屏幕作為廣告媒介之首要功能,透過虛構奢華酒店廣告,《Nøtel》以「仿製品」之姿態,理所當然地詰問現實與真實。鄭智禮作品《O》以航拍科技,在高空捕捉崇光百貨前軒尼詩道行人過路處俯視圖,為行人創造一個正在被實時拍攝的錯覺,透過模擬形式在屏幕與城市散步者之間建立一段既遠且近的關係。

 

鑑於我對新媒體藝術項目製作及策劃的專業知識,實踐的研究傾向及方法,我把藝術家及策展人的專業身份結合於我的學術研究當中。「人造風景」促使我發展一個持續的研究計劃,旨在探討創意介入、屏幕媒體以及城市空間三者間的關系,並考察公共性如何透過公共屏幕放映內容的生產、消費及發佈得以體現。我將於2020年策劃另一公共屏幕放映項目,加深我對公共屏幕於不同文化語境下的解讀,為未來就香港及西方兩地的比對研究作重要的基礎。

 

Publicness, Screen Cultures and Artistic Intervention 

Imagine yourself looking up at hyper-modern skyscrapers, marveling at building facades punctuated with brilliantly-lit electronic claddings. As trams crisscross between the flow people and cars, you are surrounded by dazzling storefronts that are hybridized with hives of activity and the pounding beats composed of commuter movements. You have a close-up view of the people surrounding you - they are in their most fashionable garb, fighting to have the most visual presence. Be it rain or shine, they stroll along the sidewalk and find muses on the street, capturing the eternal spirit of the frenzied urban life. The multifarious landscape is further dramatized by sprawling televisual screens illuminated with endless entertainment. For a moment, you feel like you are living in a sci-fi movie characterized by a simulated reality. This is Hong Kong, one of the most bustling cities in the world and the epitome of a cultural melting pot.

 

 

Like many metropolis, Hong Kong’s dynamic city life is framed not only by material structures such as streets and buildings, but is also increasingly defined by a mixture of material functions and immaterial spatial experiences. As technology becomes inseparable from our lives, Hong Kong people are constantly encapsulated by screen-based media. From the use of mobile mapping services to the popularity of AR mobile games, people are intricately connected with the city through screens. As such, flâneur, an archetype of the modern urban experience, is now re-envisioned by digital-citizens as “phoneur” — from walkers strolling through the cityscape to a networked experience through location-based and mobile technologies. Apart from the screens in our hands while navigating between mile high skyscrapers, Hong Kong’s urban landscape is envisaged as a stage from which over-dimensional screens have becomea matrix of networks fused with our everyday life. Dazzling displays of advertisement and moving images mean that building facades are no longer fixated with a single identity. It is, in itself, a medium for sending messages, sheathed with mass of information, producing reality itself in a relentless flux. These screens have emerged from the shifting nexus between architecture, media technologies, and new forms of citizenry —a hybrid “mediatecture” for personal and collective experiences.

 

 

Artificial Landscape, a debut collaboration between Sogo Department Store and Videotage, was a site-specific media art project located in Causeway bay, one of the most iconic shopping districts in the world. During March of 2019, four video works were presented on CVision, Asia Pacific’s largest LED outdoor screen. In this hyper-diverse neighborhood, Artificial Landscape reorients Causeway Bay into a perpetually contingent city experience through artistic innovation. By adopting a noise-generation algorithm that simulates aesthetic patterns found in nature, Carla Chan’s Black Move transforms Causeway Bay to a mysterious unknown universe with peculiar representations of water, rock, air and clouds. Shi Zheng’s Embers immerses passerby with a massive labyrinth of man-made “natural” landscapes, guiding them through a paralleled imaginative time and space. Lawrence Lek’s Nøtel plays with the idea that the primary function of gigantic screens is advertising. By creating an advertisement for a fictional luxury hotel, Nøtel becomes a simulacrum, calling into question reality and truth in its own right. Howard Cheng’s uses drone technologies to capture an aerial view of pedestrians crossing Hennessy Road in front of the Sogo. His work, O, creates illusions for pedestrians as they are being recorded in real time, simultaneously establishing a sense of distance and belonging between the screen and city dwellers.

 

 

I have combined my professional expertise in new media art production and curation with my practice-based approach to scholarly research. Artificial Landscape has inspired me to develop an on-going research project aimed at investigating the relationship between creative intervention, screen media, and urban space, how the notion of public space is being negotiated through the production, consumption and distribution of content on public screens, and the power dynamics within screen-based media in urban settings. In 2020, I will curate another public screen project, which will enhance my understanding of public screens in varying cultural contexts and will serve as an important basis for future comparative studies between Hong Kong and the West.

 

 

Isaac Leung. An Unprecedented Change of Urban Landscape . An Unprecedented Change of Urban LandscapeVideotage and Sogo, 2018.

 

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Story of the Month - June 2019

Story of the Month - June 2019 

每月故事 - 二零一九年六月     

 

storyofthemonth June2019

Photo Credit: Pexels.com (相片來源:Pexels.com) 

Centre Fellow Prof. Zhong Hua Sara’s research interests include social development and crime trends, cybercrime, substance abuse, juvenile delinquency, and gender-crime nexus.  

本中心成員鍾華教授的主要研究領域包括社會發展與犯罪趨勢、網絡犯罪、毒品犯罪,青少年犯罪與越軌行為、性別與犯罪等。

 

Her research team just completed a project about Chinese urban citizens’ perceived safety. The study mainly focuses on the gendered mechanisms between social disorganization, social inequality and perceived safety among Chinese urban residents. Considering the rapid technological changes in the modern era and their threat to privacy, this research considers both perceived privacy safety and traditional types of perceived safety (e.g., perception of safety if going out after 10pm). Regarding perceived privacy safety, the results suggest that trust in strangers significantly increases males’ privacy safety but not females’, while police presence in a neighbourhood and perceived justice in law enforcement have significant positive effects on females’ privacy safety but not males’. For perceived night safety, formal social control (e.g., police performance) and perceptions of income inequality affect men and women similarly in urban China. In contrast with Western studies, collective efficacy is not that useful when explaining perceived night safety for either men or women, which is possibly due to the prevalence of security guards in urban communities. This research is pioneering as it implies that the social forces of perceived personal/property safety in urban China are relatively gender-neutral, whereas the mechanisms of perceived privacy safety are gendered and strongly related to both offline gender inequality and digital gender inequality. 

鍾教授的團隊剛剛完成一個關於中國城市居民安全感的項目,該研究的焦點在於社會解組與社會不平等影響中國城市居民安全感的分性別機制。考慮到當代科技的高速發展及其對公民隱私產生的顯著威脅,本研究涵蓋了隱私安全感和傳統類型的安全感(例如在晚上10點之後外出是否覺得安全)。在隱私安全方面,研究結果表明,陌生人的互信極大提高了男性的隱私安全感,但不能增強女性的安全感;而社區中的警力配備以及主觀感覺到的執法公正對女性的隱私安全感存在明顯的積極影響,卻極少作用於男性。而在夜間安全感的分析中,正式社會控制(例如警方表現)和主觀感覺到的收入不平等對中國的都市男女有相似作用。與西方同類型研究不同,在詮釋中國男性或女性的夜間安全感時,集體效能的理論並不太適用,原因可能是中國城市社區中普遍配置了市場化的帶薪保安服務。本研究具有一定的開創性:這些成果意味著中國城市的社會因素對個體/財產安全感的影響無顯著性別差異,然而對隱私安全感的作用機制是性別化的,這與中國社會現實和網絡上的性別不平等狀態息息相關。

 

Currently Prof Zhong is collaborating with Tencent on projects related to protection of youth from victimization of cybercrime and cyberbullying. She is also using big data to examine the patterns of cyber fraud in Hong Kong and Mainland China and the social forces behind it. 

目前,鍾華教授正在與騰訊集團合作,開展預防青少年網絡犯罪和網絡霸淩受害的相關項目。同時,她也在運用大數據檢視香港和內地的網絡詐騙模式及其背後的社會力量。

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Story of the Month - May 2019

Story of the Month - May 2019 

每月故事 - 二零一九年五月 

   

Storyofthemonth May2019 

Photo Credit: Pexels (圖片來源:Pexels) 

 

Prof. Jin Lei, Fellow of Center of Urban History, Culture and Media, is recently working on a project that examines social disparities in health lifestyle in transitional China and for now she is focusing on smoking, one of the most serious public health challenges in China. China is the largest producer and consumer of cigarettes, producing and consuming one third of the world’s cigarettes. In 2010, around one sixth (1.4 million deaths) of all deaths in China were attributed to tobacco use. Smoking is highly correlated with people’s education levels and the educational gaps in smoking has widened drastically in recent cohorts; the educational gaps in smoking among the post-1980s cohorts were more than twice as big as those among the cohorts that grew up during the Cultural Revolution. This suggest that the burden of disease attributable to smoking will fall disproportionally on the socially disadvantaged. The widening educational gaps were probably due to the increasing salience of education as China’s economy marketized and to the fact that as the harms of smoking became known, socially advantaged groups were more likely to get hold of and act on that knowledge. Moreover, she found that smoking cessation was extremely rare for both high and low-education individuals; the educational gaps widened mainly because in recent cohorts, low-education individuals were much more like to initiate smoking than those with higher education, compared with earlier cohorts. This research suggests that public policies need to encourage smoking cessation and prevent smoking initiation especially among vulnerable groups. In her future research, she plans to examine how low socioeconomic positions contribute to smoking initiation among adolescence.

 

 

中心成员金蕾教授的研究項目之一,是探討中國轉型時期健康生活方式的社會差異。吸煙作為中國最嚴峻的公共衛生挑戰之一,也是此項研究目前主要的關註點。中國是世界上最大的卷煙生產國和消費國,生產和消費了全世界三分之一的卷煙。2010年,中國死亡人口中約有六分之一(140萬人)與煙草使用有關。吸煙行為與個體的教育水平高度相關,而近年來年輕世代中吸煙行為的教育差距急劇擴大; 80年代後出生的世代中吸煙行為的教育差距是文化大革命期間長大的世代的兩倍多。這也意味著由吸煙行為造成的疾病負擔將不成比例地落在社會弱勢群體身上。這一差距的不斷擴大,究其原因,一方面是由於教育的重要性隨著市場化程度深化而越發凸顯,另一方面也是由於在吸煙的危害性逐漸為人們所知的過程中,社會優勢群體更有可能掌握相關知識並采取行動。此外,她發現,對於高教育和低教育的人來說,戒煙行為均極為罕見而導致教育差距擴大的主要原因,則是由於在年輕的世代中,與早期世代相比,低教育程度的個體比高教育程度的個體更容易習得吸煙行為。該研究表明,在公共政策的制定上,我們需要積極鼓勵戒煙行為並加強防治弱勢群體中的吸煙行為。在未來的研究中,她將著手於研究青少年群體中,社會經濟地位是如何影響其吸煙行為的習得。

 

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Story of the Month - April 2019

Story of the Month - April 2019 

每月故事 - 二零一九年四月 

 

火星長老的社企實驗

朱順慈  香港中文大學新聞與傳播學院副教授

 

月的故事以本中心成員朱順慈教授社會企業為焦點。以下她描述了如何利用知識轉移项目來接觸市民大將媒體研究與香港的年輕人聯繫起來。

 

2017年得到知識轉移基金支持,我創辦了以推動媒介與資訊素養(media and information literacy)為目標的社會企業。「火星媒體」(Mars Media Academy)不僅是mass media的諧音,更寄予了一個願望:日日機不離手,天天浸淫在不同媒體的地球人,是否可以跳出習以為常的生活,直奔太空,從火星回望,檢測一下我們使用媒體的習慣。 

 

星人的口號是:「在地經歷,離地思考」,貼地和離地,應該相輔相成,所以我們辦數碼排毒營(Digital Detox Camp),為中學生設計離線體驗,放慢腳步感受沒有智能電話的生活,進而思索現代媒體如何改變地球人對時間、空間和記憶的態度。我們亦提供針對假新聞、廣告和性別等議題的課程和工作坊。

 

去年,火星媒體獲一青年智庫委約製作一個以「自拍現象」為主題的紀錄片。為了了解年輕人對相關題目的看法,我們在製作的第一階段帶著五句說話訪問六家中學,請參與討論的同學選出最認同的一句說話:「你的樣子如何,你的日子也必如何」、「貪靚貪出病」、「貪靚無罪,P圖有理」、「內在美最重要」、「好彩生得唔靚」。

 

 結果,最多人選了在網絡流傳已久的話:你的樣子如何,你的日子也必如何。望文生義,人靚著數多,貪靚合情合理,為了追趕主流文化宣揚的美,修圖、化妝、美容、減肥、整容,方法層出不窮,達標卻遙遙無期。如果說愛美是人的天性,不同人眼中的「美」,有沒有一套普世通行的標準?當貪靚貪出病,病根是甚麼?如何解決由美而生的焦慮?

 

在香港長大、自小被認定為美女的吳海昕帶著這些關於美、身體形象、自我肯定、美在媒介和藝術中意義等等的問題,專訪心理學家、人類學家、哲學家、美容專家、電影明星、美學大師⋯⋯帶領我們一起尋找答案並重新思考:你的樣子,如何成就你的日子。 

 

成立了快兩年,火星媒體會繼續本著在地經歷、離地思考的精神,在傳媒教育的領域上,發展更多有趣的計劃。

 

Mars Mission 

Donna Chu, Associate Professor, School of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

 

The April Story of the Month features CUHCM fellow Professor Donna Chu’s social enterprise. Her story below describes the use of a knowledge transfer project to reach out to the public, bridging media studies and youth in Hong Kong.

 

In 2017, I founded a social enterprise "Mars Media Academy" enabled by the Sustainable Knowledge Project Transfer Fund. In addition to being a pun to "mass media", Mars Media is advocating for a critical distance from our highly mediated lives. By promoting media and information literacy, we hope everyone can examine and reflect on how we participate in our networked media environment by taking a Martian point of view.

  

In the past two years, we have been organizing Digital Detox Camps and news literacy workshops for secondary school students. In 2018, we were commissioned by a youth think tank to produce a documentary inspired by the selfie phenomenon. The Mars Mission will continue to explore how media and information literacy can be implemented in Hong Kong. 

 

 storyofthemonth APR2019

圖片說明: 火星長老在中學演講《瞬間看地球》(圖片來源:朱順慈)

Photo Caption: Mars Elder Prof Donna Chu giving a talk entitled “A snapshot of Earth” at a secondary school. (Photo Credit: Donna Chu)

 

 

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Story of the Month - March 2019

Story of the Month - March 2019 

每月故事 - 二零一九年三月

  

In the evening of 21 February 2019, a group of Hong Kong artists congregated at the New Asia Concourse, The Chinese University of Hong Kong to put up a performance about the future of Hong Kong. The artists included the local indie band Black Bird, and the People’s Theatre.

2019221日晚,一群香港藝術家聚於香港中文大學新亞書院圓形廣場,為觀眾獻上一場關於香港未來的精彩表演。演出藝術家包括香港獨立樂隊黑鳥,以及民眾劇團。

 

This performance was in fact a reunion for the two groups who had collaborated and performed at the same spot 30 years ago. Lenny Kwok, founder of Black Bird, felt that this reunion was significant, given that their performance three decades ago inspired many young Hong Kongers in that era to think about the impending uncertainty of Hong Kong’s future. 

這場表演其實是一次重聚。三十年前,兩個團體曾在同一地點進行了合作演出。黑鳥樂隊的成員郭達年認為,這場重聚是意義深遠的。三十年前的演出曾在那個時代鼓勵了許多香港青年思考香港社會不確定的未來。

 

 The three hour performance started with Talents Displaced, a fusion music band made up mostly of refugees and asylum seekers from Africa. It was followed by a range of items including singing, behavioural art and storytelling by veteran artists Lenny Kwok with his wife June Zhu, poet and narrator Yuen Che-Hung (more fondly known as Uncle Hung), and Mok Chiu Yu of the Asian People’s Theatre Festival Society. There was a post-performance dialogue. The performance touched on issues of politics, the environment, youth and their hopes. It was a thought-provoking event, at times poignant, at times shocking, with an aim to promote freedom of expression and freedom of thought.

三小時的演出由樂隊才飄八斗率先登場。這是一支融合音樂樂隊,主要由在港難民和尋求庇護的非裔人士組成。接著的演出涵蓋歌唱,行為藝術和講故事等。資深藝術家郭達年與妻子朱秀文,詩人及講述者阮志雄(大家暱稱他為雄仔叔叔)、還有亞洲民眾戲劇節協會的莫昭如參與了演出。演出後有嘉賓對談。這是一場發人深省的演出,讓人思考政治、環境和年輕人的想望。觀眾時而震驚、時而感動,共同參與了思想與言論自由的一次反思。

 

 Storyofthemonth Mar2019 

Photo Caption: Discussion with artists after the performance. (Photo Credit: Maria Tam)

圖片說明:演後與藝術家對談。(圖片來源:譚少薇)

 

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Story of the Month - February 2019

Story of the Month - February 2019 

每月故事 - 二零一九年二月

 

Can Farmers’ Sales Direct to Consumer Guarantee Organic Products?

農民向消費者直接銷售是否保障有機產品?

 

Joseph Bosco

Adjunct Associate Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, CUHK

林舟,香港中文大學人類學系,兼任副教授

 

 

Consumers worldwide are increasingly concerned about the risk of pesticide residues on fruits and vegetables. Consumers can buy organic produce, but how does a shopper know that the produce is really grown without pesticides?

全世界的消費者越來越關注水果和蔬菜上農藥殘留的風險。消費者可以購買有機農產品,但他們如何辨認它們真的不以農藥種植?

 

 

One solution that has emerged is farmers selling and delivering produce directly to urban consumers. This sounds like a win-win situation: consumers get safe food and farmers can sell at a higher price. Taiwan should be an ideal place for direct to consumer farming, because the island is relatively small and densely populated. With rapid and relatively inexpensive delivery services like Black Cat, farmers can easily ship to urban consumers anywhere on the island.

已經出現的一個解決方案是農民直接向城市裡的消費者銷售和宅配農產品。這聽起來像是一個雙贏的局面- 消費者可以獲得安全食品,農民可以以更高的價格出售。台灣應該是直接向消費者直銷農產品的理想地區,這是因為台灣面積相對較小且人口密集。通過如黑貓貨運這種快速且相對便宜的直宅配服務,農民可以輕鬆地將貨品運送給島上任何地方的城市消費者。

 

 

One example of this system is Mrs. Li’s dragon fruit farm in Pingtung County. Mrs. Li is in her 60s, and walks with difficulty. She and her daughter, who is a nurse and works full time in a hospital, grow and market the dragon fruit. Both are Buddhists passionate about organic farming. Dragon fruit actually grows well without pesticides because it can resist many pests. The Lis tie bags over the fruit as they start to grow, to protect them from fruit flies and birds. They only use organic fertilizer. They grow special types of short grasses between the rows of dragon fruit plants to prevent soil erosion and to remove hiding places for rats and insects. They pull weeds and tall grasses out by hand, to keep them from taking over. They call their system “cultivation in weeds without poisons”, because even though they are not accredited as organic, they do not use pesticides and they allow grass to grow around the plants.

這個系統實施的一個例子是屏東縣李太太的火龍果農場。李太太60多歲,走路有困難。她和女兒(一名在醫院工作的全職護士),種植和銷售火龍果。兩位都是佛教徒,對有機農業充滿熱情。因為火龍果本身可以抵抗許多害蟲,不用殺蟲劑也能良好地生長。當火龍果開始成長時,李家水果袋套在火龍果上,以保護它們免受果蠅和鳥類的傷害。他們只使用有機肥料,在火龍果植株之間種植短草,以防止泥土流失並減少老鼠和昆蟲的藏身之處。他們徒手拔出雜草和高大的草,以防止它們侵佔泥土。他們將這個系統稱為「草生無毒的栽培」,因為即使他們沒有有機認證,他們也不使用殺蟲劑,並讓草在火龍果樹周圍生長。

 

 

Most dragon fruit does not have a very strong taste, but Mrs. Li’s dragon fruit are sweeter and have a subtle, fragrant taste. They are also much larger than what we usually see. I have brought boxes back to Hong Kong as gifts, and friends are impressed.

大多數火龍果的味道並不濃烈,但李太太的火龍果較甜,且有一種含蓄的香味。它們也比一般火龍果大得多。我把火龍果帶回香港作禮物,都讓朋友們留下了深刻的印象。

 

 

To grow these delicious fruits is not easy. The plants have to be carefully tended and pruned. Mrs. Li picks the fruit when it is 80 percent ripe, so that when it arrives to the consumer, it is ready to eat.

種植這些美味的水果並不容, 必須小心地栽培和修剪。李太太在水果八成熟時採摘它們,好使當水果到消費者手上時,就剛好可以吃了。

 

 

The fruit is not cheap; in 2016, she sold them at between NT$80 and NT$110 per catty, depending on the size. This was 29 to 71 percent more than the supermarket price. The difference is even greater if you compare it to street market prices.

 這些火龍果不便宜。 2016年,李太太以每斤80至110新台幣的價格出售,售價因大小而定。這比超市價格高出29%到71%。如果與街市價格比較,差異則更大。

 

 

This system of selling directly to consumers seems fine for wealthy buyers, and for items that are intended as gifts. It does not seem to be viable for the average consumer. Mrs. Li is making a living, but not making a fortune. Only her hard work plus the help of her employed daughter allow this “direct to the consumer” enterprise to survive. And as Mrs. Li gets older, like most Taiwan farmers, one wonders how much longer this will be viable.

這種直接向消費者銷售的系統,對富有的消費者或用來送禮頗為合適。對於普通消費者來說,這系統似乎並不可行。李太太只能以此謀生,但不能致富。她的辛勤勞動,加上女兒的幫助才能讓這種直銷企業生存下去。就像大多數台灣農民一樣,隨著李太太年紀漸大,這系統還能維持多久就不得而知了。

 

 

Direct to the consumer sales will remain a niche but cannot represent a solution to consumers’ worries about food safety. Just as helicopters are a solution for traffic jams for the rich but do not solve the problem of traffic jams, direct selling to the consumer is a solution for a few rich urban buyers that help a few farmers but fails to address underlying problem of food safety.

直銷手法始終是個小眾市場,不能解決消費者對食品安全的擔憂。正如直升機是富人面對交通擁堵的解決方案,但它不能解決交通擁堵的問題。同理, 直接銷售模式幫助了少數富裕的城市買家,同時也幫助了少數農民,但它並不能解決深層的食品安全問題。

 

 

 

storyofthemonth feb2019

Photo caption: This dragon fruit field is similar to Mrs Li's, but note that the short grass is dying; it is infested with insects. The birds flying above the field are feeding on the insects in the grass. These insects do not harm the fruit, but the fruit are protected by net bags. You can see many blossoms about to bloom. Photo credit: Joseph Bosco, Oct. 2015

文字說明:這個火龍果場與李太太的果園相似,但留意短草正在凋謝,大量昆蟲出沒。在田野上空的鳥兒正以草叢中的昆蟲為食。這些昆蟲不會傷害水果,但水果受到網袋的保護。照片中也可以看到很多火龍果花即將綻放。(照片來源:林舟, 201510月)

 

 

storyofthemonth feb22019
Photo caption: Joseph Bosco in Mrs. Li's field, holding a dragon fruit in the protective net bag.
Note the short grass, and some weeds under the fruit. (Photo credit: Joseph Bosco, July 2015)

文字說明:林舟在李太太的果田裡,手中是套在防護網袋裡的火龍果。注意短草和果實下的一些雜草。(照片來源:林舟,20157月)

  

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Story of the Month - January 2019

Story of the Month - January 2019 

每月故事 - 二零一九年一月

 

Who needs intercultural education? In Hong Kong, 8% of the population are non-Chinese, the bigger groups among them being Southeast Asians and South Asians. And though 92% of the population are all considered Chinese, they have come from many different cultural backgrounds, each one with their own traditions. The diverse languages and religions, as well as skills and knowledges that these various social groups have brought to Hong Kong have contributed to making Hong Kong a metropolis. Center Director Prof Siumi Maria Tam through her research on ethnic minority identities in Hong Kong, finds however that the various ethnic and cultural groups have low levels of interaction and of mutual understanding, and this has caused much cultural misconceptions and social exclusions.

誰需要跨文化教育?在香港,8%的人口為非華裔,其中較大的群體是南亞與東南亞裔。雖然92%的人口都是華裔,但他們來自不同的文化背景,有各自的文化傳統。這些族群多元的語言和宗教,以及技能和知識,為香港國際化大都市的發展作出貢獻。中心主任譚少薇教授通過對香港少數裔族身份認同的研究發現,各族群和文化群體之間互動和相互理解程度較低,因而引起了不少文化上的誤解和社會上的隔離。

 

 

Together with Centre fellows Prof Wyman Tang and Prof Janice Lau, she led two recent publication projects as part of her Knowledge Transfer Project "Multiculturalism in Action" (MIA). The two books "What are we celebrating? Multicultural Festivals in Hong Kong" (2017 Wheatear), and "The ICONIC Mums Kitchen: Tastes of intercultural Hong Kong" (2018 Department of Anthropology, CUHK) shared the vision of making cultural knowledge accessible to all, regardless of ethnic background. They believe that the first step is to have the same set of information available to all, and hence they insisted on publishing bilingually. They highlighted the importance of partnership with ethnic minority communities in raising cultural diversity awareness in Hong Kong, especially in creating a common ground among different ethnic communities.

譚教授與中心研究員鄧偉文教授及劉影翠教授在知識轉移項目多元文化行動計劃MIA)下出版了兩書籍,分別為<<我們在慶祝什麼?香港的多元文化節>>2017麥穗),以及 <<ICONIC媽媽廚房:跨文化香港滋味>>2018年香港中文大學人類學系),目的在分享文化知識,打破族群之間的壁壘。研究者們認為,邁向理解第一步是所有人都獲得相同的資訊,因此他們堅持雙語出版。他們強調與少數族裔社區建立夥伴關係對提高香港文化多元化意識的重要性,特別是在不同族群之間建立共通點。

 

 

Professor Tam emphasized in particular the realization of positive ethnic relations through intersubjective experiences, and due to a lack of intercultural education in the school curriculum, most students and teachers have little exposure to ideas and practice of multiculturalism. The second step to intercultural education is therefore making socially meaningful relations a reality for most people. The two books they published aim to create a safe and enjoyable educational environment in which participants can take part in each other's festivals, and try their hands on cooking each other's foods. In conjunction with the publication of the books, the MIA team has carried out multimedia presentations in schools in different parts of Hong Kong, as well as co-organized multicultural carnivals in housing estates in different districts. These are carried out in consultation with different ethnic partners, and together these activities hope to bring intercultural education to Hongkongers regardless of class and ethnic backgrounds, and ultimately make transculturality a sustainable and realizable goal.

譚教授特別強調通過主體經驗實現良好、積極的族群關係。由於學校課程缺乏跨文化教育,大多數學生和教師幾乎沒有接觸過多元文化主義的概念與實踐。跨文化教育的第二步是使具有社會意義交流成為現實,讓大眾可參與其中。研究者出版的這兩本書旨在創造一個安全、愉快的教育環境,讓參與者可以參與彼此的節日,並嘗試烹飪彼此的食物。在出版書籍的同時,MIA團隊在香港各的學校進行多媒體演,並在不同屋苑辦多元文化嘉年華會。這些活動是在與不同族群合作夥伴的協商下進行的,希望給香港人--不分階級和族群背景--帶來跨文化教育,讓跨文化成為可持續和可實現的目標。

 

 

 

 

storyofthemonth jan2019

Photo caption: The MIA team's book launch at the CUHK Commercial Press Bookstore on Nov 28, 2018 where they discussed views on interculturalism and the role of academics in promoting social justice.

文字說明:MIA團隊於20181128日在香港中文大學商印書館舉行新書發佈會,討論了跨文化主義和學術界在促進社會正義方面的作用。

  

 

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Story of the Month - December 2018

Story of the Month - December 2018 

每月故事 - 二零一八年十二月

Centre Fellow Professor Song Jing serves Gender Studies Programme, The Chinese University of Hong Kong as an Assistant Professor. Her research interests include gender, family, work, migration, urbanization and market transition.  Her research covers topics of women's self-employment and entrepreneurship, land development and property rights, dating, cohabitation and marriage, and family relations.

中心研究員宋婧教授為香港中文大學性別研究課程的助理教授。她研究性別、家庭、就業、人口遷移、城鎮化以及中國的市場轉型。她的研究範圍包括女性的自僱和創業活動,土地使用和權益,婚戀觀念和家庭關係等社會現象。

 

Her recent research examines the role of female cadres in rural politics in three Chinese villages that have been rapidly industrialized and urbanized in recent decades. She also examines how structural constraints and personal traits have interacted with each other in the different contexts of women’s political participation.

她近期的研究關注在中國農村近數十年工業化與城鎮化過程中女性幹部的角色。她探討了在三個村子的不同的地域經濟環境下結構性因素和個人特質如何互動從而影響女性的政治參與過程。

 

Professor Song has presented different images of rural female cadres in China’s countryside in the process of industrialization and urbanization. In some cases, women cadres did not benefit much from the political capital of their fathers and husbands. Their political engagements have relied more on personal characteristics such as entrepreneurial talents and intermediating skills, and their economic performance and administrative capabilities.

宋婧教授的研究呈現了在農村工業化與城鎮化進程中不同的女性幹部形象。在一些情況下,女性幹部的政治參與沒有直接受益于男系親屬如父親與丈夫的政治資本。她們的個人特質如企业经营管理能力和調解能力,以及在經濟活动和行政方面的表现,在政治參與中發揮着更为重要的作用。

 

 

Over time, governments have adopted different priorities and requirements for women to become political activists and role models. When rural industrialization and urbanization became the priorities of local governments under the market reforms, these historical moments provided women with certain opportunities to realize upward social and political mobility beyond conventional women’s tasks.

在不同的歷史時期,政府對女性幹部和領袖角色有過不同的期待與要求。當改革開放以來工業化與城鎮化成為農村基層政府的首要任務,女性幹部得以利用這些歷史機遇在一定程度上擺脫傳統的性別分工,實現從政方面的向上流動機會。

 

However, it is still common for women to occupy marginal positions in the grassroots leadership and they are expected to play supportive and “intermediating” roles. The persisting patriarchal norms remain a major source of frustration among women cadres, and some choose to conform to the virtuous womanly image to achieve a good reputation that is essential to their cadre work.

然而,女性幹部往往在基層社區政治中佔據邊緣性的崗位並且承擔支援性和調解性的工作。父權文化依然使許多女性幹部對於她們在公共領域中的活動感到為難,而有些女性幹部則選擇遵循傳統性別角色規範來維護自己的形像以利於她們的從政活動。

 

 

   Storyofthemonth Dec2018

 

Caption: Farmland in Harvesting. (Photo credit: SONG Jing)

 

文字說明:收割中的田野(圖片來源:宋婧

 

 

 

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