Author Archives: Evan Fowler 方禮倫

About Evan Fowler 方禮倫

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Evan is a writer, essayist and commentator. He has written and been published on a broad range of topics, from art, literature and aesthetic, to social and political commentaries, with a particular focus on issues of culture and identity.

The Two Worlds of Times Square

At Times Square in Causeway Bay there are two long flights of escalators. The first carries people from street level up in to the atrium. The second carries shoppers further up and on to the first of several shopping levels.

I got to know Times Square and the surrounding neighbourhood twenty years ago when, as a secondary school student, I made some extra pocket money running errands for a company whose offices were in Tower 1. Each day that summer I would take the escalators.

The first flight of escalators brought me to the office lifts. It was a Times Square that I slowly discovered – a place of drab cubicles, laminated desks and hissing photocopiers; and a place of work. The second escalator brought me to the Times Square I knew. It was a more familiar and welcoming place. My mother would buy tennis shoes for the family here, and a few storeys up was the games arcade where I would meet friends. I never particularly liked the mall, but it was still an environment I recognised, and a place I could understand within the context of living in Hong Kong.

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Occupy Central and the Umbrella Movement: a Reflection of Hong Kong 佔中與雨傘運動 — 反思香港局面

(編按: 3 年後的今日, Evan 反思佔中和雨傘運動帶來的改變,在本文他亦突顯香港凝聚的各種身份和價值觀。 展望未來, Evan 警告如果香港政府和中央繼續害怕人民講述真相,「河蟹」當年所發生的事情,那麼香港回歸祖國所建立的關係將會支離破碎,香港再次淪為移民、難民和帝國製造者的殖民地。)

3 years after the protests, Evan reflect on Occupy Central and the Umbrella Movement, and the way our reactions to it has come highlight the various identities and values that are together Hong Kong. Looking forward he warns that if our government and Beijing continues to fear the truth and to censor what happened, the relationships that have made Hong Kong home will be broken and it will regress to once again being a colony for immigrants, refugees and empire-builders.

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Patten Shows How Governance Has Changed, But How Much Is Carrie Lam Allowed To Do? 彭定康到訪顯香港管治變化,但林鄭又可被允許作出多少改善呢?

(編按:Evan 在本文指,香港殖民地時期最後一住港督彭定康最近訪港,突出了我城管治情況有多大變化。他認為彭定康對批評和反對意見的尊重,以及建議多與民接觸,不應被視為一個驚喜。 Evan 最後提到,香港人要問的真正問題是,不斷分裂的社會底下正在影響政治時,林鄭是否被允許作出選擇呢?)

In this essay, Evan argues how the recent visit of Hong Kong’s last governor Chris Patten highlights how much governance has changed in this city. He argues that Patten’s respect for criticism and opposing views, and his advice to engage with people, should not come as a surprise. He says the real question Hong Kong people must ask is whether in defining the divisive politics that afflicts the city is Carrie Lam allowed a choice at all?

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Britain may regain some dignity by speaking up for Hong Kong 英國為港發聲或仍能挽回一些尊嚴

編按:方禮倫在本文指,當年英國政府很可能不期望「中英聯合聲明」得到兌現,但仍執意與中國簽署聲明。 他認為,儘管看似無能為力,但英國有法律和道德上的義務維護聲明。為港發聲不僅可使英國在北京獲得更大的尊重,也表現出英國人的價值觀。

Evan writes that it was likely the British government knowingly signed the Joint Declaration with no expectation of the treaty being honoured. He argues that whilst Britain may seem powerless, it has a legal and moral obligation to call out a wrong. Doing so would not only likely earn Britain greater respect in Beijing, but also represent the values of the British people.

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Hong Kong’s Basic Law does not ban ideas, and universities are not for one-way learning

After pro-independence posters appeared at the Chinese University of Hong Kong last week, Joseph J.Y. Sung, acting in his capacity as Vice-Chancellor, sent an open letter to all students, staff and alumni of the university.

In this extraordinary – and therefore one must presume significant – letter that was sent whilst he was “attending an academic conference overseas,” he writes:

The idea of an independent Hong Kong is not only in breach of the Basic Law of Hong Kong but also contrary to what I personally believe. Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China; this is beyond dispute.

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The Hong Kong gov’t’s new, poisonous political culture: All criticism is politics, all critics are ill 尊重批評:律政司司長的解釋語帶輕蔑,香港人的雅量何在?

按:本文以律政司司長袁國強及其他知名評論員的發言為例,道出現時建制內普遍存在的心態,就是對別人的批評指責往往不屑一顧,而不會設法解決問題。方禮倫希望大家更有耐心,力求和解,彼此尊重, 這樣才能彌合分歧,而不是凡事好走極端。英文原文在中文譯文之下。

In this essay, the comments of Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen and other high profile commentators are given as examples of a more general attitude within the establishment to be dismissive of criticism and negativity, rather than to address relevant points. Evan suggests a more patient, conciliatory and respectful approach would do more to heal divisions than to constantly play to the fringe.

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Coming back homeless 回來也無家可歸

編按:方禮倫曾患嚴重抑鬱,掙扎兩年,差點死去,他在本文述說人與人之間的信任和破裂,也談及他在香港感到日漸失去自己的家園。他問前任特首梁振英,北京指「雨傘運動」受到外國勢力擺佈,但有拿出證據嗎?為什麼「一國兩制」竟滋生出本土派和愛國派的極端分子,抱著種族主義和仇外心理,好勇鬥狠?這些心態本不屬於他視之為家的香港。英文原文在中文譯文之下。

After a two year struggle with severe depression that very nearly ended his life, Evan writes of the break down in relationships and trust, and the sense of losing his home, Hong Kong. He asks the city’s former Chief Executive, CY Leung, where is the promised evidence of foreign interference that Beijing blames for the Umbrella Revolution? And why has “One Country” politics fostered a patriotic and localist extreme that is racist, xenophobic and aggressive, and thoroughly alien to the Hong Kong that was his home? English original text is below the Chinese translated text.

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Some Thoughts on Hong Kong and Nationalism

There is a common complaint among some of my friends on the Mainland that Hong Kong people are arrogant, that they consider themselves different from their comrades on the Mainland, and that they are letting down their nation. It is a complaint that I am always careful to hear out, but also to address.

I begin by asking whether they think Hong Kong people are, in their arrogance and attitude towards their nation, different from people in China? The answer is always yes. At which point I ask them to define a nation. By this point most people see where my questions are leading, and the complaint is usually dropped. Sometimes, to highlight the folly in what is not only flawed understanding of nationhood but a shameful and positively 19th century attitude towards race, I asked them whether they consider me Hong Kong Chinese? It is not polite courtesy that ends the conversation there, but often embarrassment in their position.

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A foreign government: Zhang tour highlights an authority increasingly out of touch with Hong Kong

(編按:博客 Evan 在本文指出,張德江上周訪港的待遇以及其言行,均會令香港人感到不安,我們的政府可以變得更怪雞嗎? 

Evan writes that in the manner Zhang was received, and as much in the visual cues as in what was said, Hong Kong people have reason to feel unease. Has our government ever seemed more alien?)

Zhang Dejiang’s inspection tour of Hong Kong highlighted the depth of disconnect that exists between Hong Kong and the Mainland. In attempting to address core concerns, the tour served only to further highlight a root cause: a fundamental different socio-political culture; and understanding of and relation with authority. It is a difference the SAR government cannot, and our national government will not, acknowledge.

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愛本身才是家庭基礎,不是你愛的是誰 Love itself, not who you love, is the basis of family

湯漢樞機以及天主教會以不容忍的態度與偏見,宣揚他們對同性戀關係和婚姻的理解,方禮倫認為,他們代表本性的腐敗。他敦促香港天主教社群,應更加高尚、更人性化地宣揚愛的訊息,這才是信仰的真義。接著原文的中譯文由 Alan Chiu 提供。

By promoting an understanding of homosexual relationships and marriage based on intolerance and bigotry, Evan argues that it is Cardinal John Tong Hon and the Catholic Church who represent a corruption of nature. He urges the Catholic community in Hong Kong to find relevance in their faith through a more noble, and humane, message of love. The Chinese translation is provided by Alan Chiu.

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