About the Film:
Black Bauhinia 香港本色 is the first feature-length documentary film on Hong Kong localism and the independence movement, which fundamentally transformed Hong Kong’s domestic and international relations. Based on the directors’ decade-long research on localism, the film follows two young localist leaders’ emotional journey from electoral successes into prison and exile. The collaborative style of film making allows for intimate reflections on the costs of resistance, self-sacrifices, and the meaning of home.
The 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s change of sovereignty invites us to take stock of the city’s development, and examine how localism inspired the 2019 Hong Kong protests and how the ensuing full government crackdown shapes the future of the territory. In light of recent events, the film will be followed by a discussion featuring the director of the film, Malte Kaeding, the co-producer, Heidi Wang-Kaeding, as well as HK activist and dramatist Pat-to Yan and our own Professor of Sinology Barbara Mittler.
About the Discussants
Dr Heidi WANG-KAEDING is a Lecturer of International Relations at Keele University. She obtained her PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2017. From 2016 to 2019, she was Assistant Professor in Asian Politics at Trinity College Dublin. Her first monograph China’s Environmental Foreign Relations is published with Routledge in 2021. Heidi has presented research at academic conferences in thirteen countries and has been invited to give talks to a variety of audiences, including the European Parliament, the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Keele World Affairs. She is co-founder of the Hong Kong Studies Association (HKSA). Moreover, she is the co-producer of the award-winning documentary film Black Bauhinia.
Dr Malte Philipp KAEDING is a Senior Lecturer in International Politics at the University of Surrey. He studied Chinese Studies and Political Science at the Heidelberg University and Film Studies and Comparative Literature at Hong Kong University. He obtained his PhD in Government and International Studies from the Hong Kong Baptist University. Malte is the co-founder of the HKSA. He has given oral evidence on Hong Kong to the British and Canadian parliament. Malte is Advisory Board Member and Associate Research Fellow at the European Research Center on Contemporary Taiwan at University of Tübingen and the director and co-writer/producer of Black Bauhinia.
Hong Kong Activist and Dramatist Pat To YAN is currently author-in-residence at the Nationaltheater Mannheim. He was born 1975 in Hong Kong, where he studied English Literature and Sociology. He consequently worked as an author and director of dystopian drama working at the “New Writing Laboratory” in Hong Kong. In 2014 he left for Europe where he earned a Master’s Degree in Playwriting at Royal Holloway, University of London. He has since become quite well known as an activist-writer in Europe. In 2016, he was invited to the Berlin Stückemarkt with his award-winning play “A Short Chronicle of Future China” (2015). In his plays and—most recently, in his libretto for “The Damned and the Saved” (2022) first performed at the Mannheim State Theater, the possibility of confusing reality and dream seems so obvious that it makes one shudder. His plays confront us with nightmares—not just about China (as they refer back to, as Yan puts it, “The most turbulent time(s) of Hong Kong History since World War 2”), but about the world and humanity at large—they make us live through these nightmares, of suppression, climate change and war, pitted against our own and everyone’s futures!
Prof. Dr. Barbara MITTLER studied Sinology, Musicology and Japanese in Oxford, Taipei and Heidelberg. She has been Professor of Sinology in Heidelberg since 2004, where she co-founded the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” (from 2007) and, building on this, the Centre for Asian Studies and Transcultural Studies (CATS, opening 2019). Her research focuses on Chinese cultural politics, with work on Chinese art music, the early press, the Cultural Revolution, and image and text in the formation of cultural memory, among others.