by Ackbar Abbas


“Chris Patten arrived in Hong Kong in 1992 as its last governor, and oversaw the Handover. In his book East and West (1998), made up of Patten’s recollections of the city’s decisive years, he implies that by 1992, colonialism in Hong Kong was a thing of the past. He remembers a Hong Kong that had progressed both economically and politically under British rule. Young men and women “had been encouraged to read Locke, Hume, Paine, Mill, and Popper,” and would henceforth be satisfied with nothing less than full democratic freedom. Patten’s memories of the period are clear and persuasive, convincing quite a number of readers that it is the culture of the colonizer that instilled in Hong Kong’s people a taste for freedom and democracy. The book was a New York Times best seller.”

“How is Made in Hong Kong different? One crucial departure is that history is acknowledged as a space made up of puzzling, half-understood objects, people, encounters, and events to which we confusedly return. Political arguments and polemics are not ignored, but they are tracked and addressed through more indirect means.”

In Ackbar Abbas’s essay Delinquents describes Fruit Chan’s Made in Hong Kong’s political implications, saying “In Fruit Chan’s Made in Hong Kong, disaffected youngsters embody historical promises unkept.”


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Ackbar Abbas






Asia, History, Representation, Resistance

The Library