It was a touching moment when those active community members sharing their thought after all of us seeing the film together on the street (a program in the 2010 Social Movement Film Festival in Hong Kong). One of the most impressive comments was from Mr. Ho, who noted that people got to understand the issues facing them are social rather than individual only after voicing out and acting out. "You gradually found out so many unjust things hiding in public policies and institutions. Nowadays I basically don't trust Hong Kong SAR. But we need to voice out to let more and more people understand the situation we are bearing with anyway." Ho suggested.
It has been a very difficult issue for the displaced tenants to present their identities that qualifies for appropriate housing, even more so in convincing the government that appropriate relocation in response to the tenant community's need is government’s responsibility rather than a favor. In the film it shows how the poor tenants dared not leave their rooms a minute for fear that their being/dwelling will be erased by uninformed evict. In the process of waiting, I saw the power of neighbor despite anxiety and fear. Just like the way Lee put it, " It is not that we were courageous. We were actually very fearful but had no other way to go." Moreover, she replied to a comment from one attendant, saying that " it is not about making a choice, you can only resist against violence if not being totally crashed."
The film illustrated the unjust dislocation facing 11 tenants since the initiation of URA project in 2009. Going through protest, negotiation, fighting against eviction, Yang's week-long sit-in, the community keeps voicing out their right to being appropriate housed and to participating in planning for their new home. The focus of their campaign is to ask URA recognize tenants, their entitlement and housing needs. The concern group (with help from the volunteer group and V-Artist) tried hard to conduct district-wide survey to understand the housing need and socio-economic situations of the population in Sham Shui Po. They are gradually conscious that lack of affordable housing is a district-wide issues rather than their own problems. With the research, the concern group tried to turn their findings into a proposal, hoping the Housing Association can make a different urban redevelopment project.
My question: how to reach other tenants in Sham Shui Po? The process of conducting survey and coming up with the proposal? Is there such a thing called "tenant identity"? The process of bottom-up planning?