If Remembrance Day’s taught us anything, it’s that narrative and symbols keep conflict in the collective memory far more effectively than history books do. That may be why Siumuo Chow, a Hong Kong-based artist, has chosen to commemorate the events of Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution in the form of a board game.
The game’s a little like Snakes & Ladders: at different squares, real events from the protests push you forward or backward. Overall, the tone’s very pro-Occupy, and full of protester in-jokes. “Being a YouTuber” at square 29 refers to half-joking accusations that HK’s chief executive, CY Leung, has given up on public office and is sitting at home on YouTube instead. “Obeying the law”, meanwhile, pushes you back three squares.
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There’s also “you’ve been pepper sprayed in the face – sit out two rounds to rest” (square 6); while the beginning of the Occupy Central movement at square 5 gets you a free roll of the dice. The final square – 49 – is somewhat pessimistically captioned “The movement has yet to succeed – have a rest until the game is finished”. (This blog has an approximate translation for each square’s caption.)
The game’s a tongue-in-cheek take on the protests that have brought Hong Kong’s business district to a standstill, but Chow has serious aims, too: he’s posted the game online as a free download to raise awareness about the protestors and their demands. He’s also probably hoping that at some point, he can redraw the final square with something like “Democracy achieved – you win”.