Often displayed during the 2019 Hong Kong protests, the black bauhinia flag is a symbol of the lives and values lost and mourned in this ongoing campaign for democratic change. While a recent events sparked this wave of protests against the government, more importantly it stems from a historical undercurrent of localism. With Hong Kong localism as research focus, scholar in international politics Dr. Malte Philipp Kaeding demonstrates academic rigour as he weaves accounts and experiences of localist activists like Edward Leung and Ray Wong and interviews with politicians across the spectrum into the city's political context in the last decade. From long-existing conflicts between locals and mainland Chinese in Hong Kong to the 2014 Umbrella Revolution, from the 2016 Mong Kok civil unrest to the Legislative Council Election later in the same year, Kaeding attempts to present a history of Hong Kong localism that is as broad as it is in-depth. The seed of localism has long been sown in Hongkonger's mind and struggling to sprout and become the source of a local identity, bringing hope despite the current desperate situation. Bauhinia blakeana, Hong Kong’s emblem, is a sterile flower that needs human hands to be propagated. There will always be lovers of the flower of the city who would protect it with all their might, hoping that it will one day blaze with gorgeous blooms against all odds.
馬寶康 Malte Philipp Kaeding
Dr Malte Kaeding is a lecturer in international politics in the department of politics at University of Surrey in UK.