Records from Hong Kong’s Frontlines (香港戦線記録 )

This weekend at Tai Kwun Contemporary’s Hong Kong Art Book Fair, Hong Kong-based collective Zine Coop is organizing “BURNING I✘✘UES —Zines of Social Movements Worldwide”, an exhibition featuring zines from protest sites all over the world: Chile, Iran, New York City, Taiwan, and, of course, Hong Kong.

I found this Japanese-language zine (doujinshi? Honestly we could have a discussion about the distinction) called 香港戦線記録 (Records from Hong Kong’s Frontlines) on Zine Coop’s awesome, sprawling table on the book fair’s first floor.

夢遊病者病棟, a circle of 30 people, among whom are 10 illustrators from Hong Kong, got together and made what essentially is a beautifully illustrated textbook of over a hundred pages recounting every major protest event from June to August 2019 in Japanese. The circle’s name itself comes from how people in Hong Kong describe their protest acts as ‘sleepwalking‘ or ‘dreaming’ (發夢):


Sleepwalking is a disorder where the body moves on its own. When the protests began, everyone said that they were sleepwalking as a way to say that they went to the protests.

The circle says that the zine’s (doujinshi?) aim is to push back against the Japanese news media’s portrayal of Hong Kong protesters as lovers of orgies of violence, and to explain why so many high school and college students have risked their lives to protest against wanton police brutality and a Communist Chinese regime that has given up on their futures. Circles from Hong Kong at Comic Market 97 this past December gave away this zine (doujinshi?) for free in Tokyo.

Apparently, there are no plans for a reprint (yet—but I hope they do so!) but you can download the entire zine (doujinshi?) to read on BOOTH, a popular doujin literature and merchandise site.