The 2019–20 Hong Kong protests, commenced in March 2019, were triggered by the introduction of The Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation Bill 2019 by the Hong Kong government. In June 2019, peaceful civil disobedience escalated into violence, signalling the emergence of polarization and antagonism in the city. As of December 2019, an estimated 300,000 excess probable depressive cases and 810,000 suspected PTSD cases were associated with the 2019–20 social unrest. Furthermore with the pandemic, the hopelessness manifested in the city and citizen’s mental wellbeing are of extreme concern. Given the holistic and therapeutic nature of the arts to enhance internal and external resources to achieve well-being and social cohesion, this study aims to stimulate a peaceful, candid social dialogue and explore the arts as a potential way to heal, build up, and sustain an understanding and respectful community. Specifically, through oral history interviews, this qualitative study collects narratives from 8 individuals with diverse artistic backgrounds in order to understand the social phenomenon from a grass-root perspective and explore the capacity of schools and communities to utilize the arts as a peace-building instrument in Hong Kong’s context.

Author Bio(s)

Shue-kei Joanna Mok is a PhD student in International Education Policy at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research concentrates on utilizing the arts/arts integration to cultivate 21st century skills, wellbeing, and global citizenship in formal and non formal educational settings. On top of academic work, She has a professional website (https://www.artsy-sense.com/) which shares her observations and ideas around the research interests with educators and the public audience.


arts, peacebuilding, school, community, conflict, wellbeing, holistic education, Hong Kong



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.