Amnesty International Hong Kong has launched a bookstore on Lok Hing Lane, 36 Pottinger Street, Central Hong Kong. The ‘Bookstore’ is selling over 1000 redacted books – books that appear to have been censored or blacked out, to highlight the rapidly eroding Freedom of Expression laws protected by Article 27 in Hong Kong.
The Bookstore will open for two days on February 16th and 17th, and the public will be free to browse and donate HK$27 to keep one of the bespoke books complete with a limited edition bookmark. The closing party will be held tonight February 17th from 5pm to 8pm and is open to the press and public.
The ‘Bookstore’ is the crux of Amnesty International’s “Every freedom needs a fighter” campaign to underscore the fact that if Article 27 continues to be ignored by the authorities, censored books could become the norm.
Mabel Au, Director, Amnesty International Hong Kong said, “Censorship and self-censorship are on the rise, and people’s freedoms are being challenged. Whistle blowers, journalists and booksellers are being silenced, and with them, the vital issues they bring to light. We hope to address this deeply concerning issue through the installation, and hope that the people of Hong Kong not only keep this top of mind, but also continue to have a voice, and defend our Freedom of Expression”
The Bookstore is supported by a series of short films, which show a time-lapse of artists sketching controversial scenes pertinent to Hong Kong.
The videos, which are being aired on public buses across the city, will be shown in reverse – undrawing itself, with the message ‘when rights vanish, so does the truth’.
The campaign reinforces the Amnesty Carnival being held February 16-26 and its weeklong art exhibition, involving 53 prominent local and global artists focusing on freedom of expression.