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Photographer's statement: Student representatives occupied the 'Civic Square', the forecourt of the government headquarters. Citizens gathered around the Civic Square to support the students and to protect them in case of police evacuation. Large amounts of pepper spray were used by the police on this day. Citizens who came to support only brought with them home-ware items that they believed may be of use to shield against the pepper spray: surgical masks, rain coats, swimming goggles, cling film, and umbrellas. That was the start of a 'Do-it-yourself (DIY) resistance campaign'.
Some protestors were drenched in sweat, having covered their whole body with clin film and worn a surgical mask. Even so, they still wore swimming goggles that steamed up quickly due to rising body temperature. Others wore a pair of goggles and surgical mask, complete with a layer of cling film on top; clearly, they could hardly even breathe. At first, I felt attracted by such whimsical and surrealist image and took photographs of them out of intrique. As I went on, I discovered the eyes behind these 'DIY' resistance tools- they were filled with anxiety and fear. The protesters understood very well that goggles and masks could not protect them, nonetheless, they marched ahead to the forefront with their fears. Their only aim was to protect the students surrounded by police, and to defend a future that they firmly believed in.
Prompted with such instinctive courage and fighting spirit, I began my journey in documenting the plight of the occupy protesters.
We Are Not A Mob／我們不是暴民︱Photographs by Tan Chi-wing／譚志榮︱ISBN 978-962-99236-6-2︱170 mm x 250 mm︱154 Pages︱Softcover｜Language: Chinese and English｜Edition: 1000 copies｜Published by Four Elephants Publisher｜Apr 2015