Pop culture and protest art

As this blog has mentioned before, Hong Kong lives in perilous times. At the annual Ani-Com convention in Hong Kong last weekend, I found this Sign of the Times taped to a pillar in the main exhibition hall.

When I left, I eagerly played detective on my phone to find out more about this poster. The quote is from Lesson 526 of Gintama, where the protagonist, Sakura Gintoki says:

夜明け前が一番暗ェ
It’s the darkest before dawn.
だが目をつぶるなよ
But don’t close your eyes.
闇から目ェそらした奴には 明日に刺す光も見えねェ
Because those who turn their eyes away from the darkness won’t be able to see the light shining on them tomorrow.
たとえこの先 どんなに深い夜が待っていてもな
No matter how deep a night waits in front of us.

Fiction is most powerful when it holds a mirror to us and asks us to account for our vices and sins. I can only hope that Hong Kong can see the light soon.