Use of Expressive Arts in Supporting Hong Kong Police Officers during the Anti-Extradition Bill Protests with YEW Wing-see Carol, MA
Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region in China. She prides on a “One Country, Two Systems” constitutional principle since its handover from the British to China in 1997. She has all along enjoyed the freedom of speech, economy, legislation, religion etc., but in recent years, such freedom appears to be weakened in a not-so-subtle manner.
In 2019, the HK Government proposed a Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation Bill Amendment, which raised public concerns over the removal of the firewall between the legal systems of Hong Kong and Mainland China. Such amendment proposal triggered a series of ongoing demonstrations in Hong Kong, as well as other cities around the world, with more than a million people getting to the streets to voice out their concerns.
On 12 June 2019, the day the Government tabled the second reading of the bill amendment, the demonstrations outside the Central Government Complex in Hong Kong descended into violent clashes between the protesters and police. Charging of metal gates, throwing of bricks, metal rods and rubbish were met with tear gas, rubber bullets and beanbag rounds, resulting in tears and blood. Although the Government did call a halt in the bill amendment in the end, both protesters and police officers were deeply injured, physically and psychologically. This has been a very difficult moment in Hong Kong history.
As one of Hong Kong Police’s in-house clinical psychologists, I witnessed the very difficult position the police was in. As a symbol of government power, police officers became scapegoats and suffered harsh blame, criticism and insults from the angry public. Many police officers repeatedly face cyber-bullying, personal insults and even death threats in the days following the incident, and foreseeably, in days to come as well.
In this session, I will share my hands-on experience and reflections in using the expressive arts to facilitate post-traumatic growth in Hong Kong police officers. There will also be visual presentations of their artwork and case sharing to illustrate the healing processes. Participants with different political views are welcomed!
Friday, March 27, 2020
11AM – 12:30PM