Latvian Occupation Museum to host 'Hong Kong Way' exhibition

In a move that seems guaranteed to raise the hackles of the Chinese Communist Party, an exhibition is set to open at the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia that draws parallels between the struggle of the Baltic states to regain independence from the Soviet Union, and pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong thirty years later.

"As a tribute to the 1989 Baltic Way's historical memories that led to the Hong Kong Way in 2019, '1989 Baltics - 2019 Hong Kong' will open at the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia in Riga on 23 August 2021. The exhibition will be on view until 31 August 2021," say organizers.

"With curated photographic images and text, the exhibition aims to commemorate the Baltic human chain and their continued legacy in Hong Kong through drawing a parallel between the 600-km human chain in 1989 in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and 2019 when 210,000 Hongkongers formed one to express their demands peacefully amid the biggest political turmoil in the territory's history," they add.

Beginning with “Inspirations from the Baltics” on how the Hong Kong Way took shape, the exhibition continues with “The Parallel Universe”, addressing the differences between both human chains, and “Hong Kong Police Brutality”, touching on the violence protesters faced during the six-month protests in 2019. It ends with a selection of promotional graphic images widely-shared to advertise the event at that time.

“1989 Baltics | 2019 Hong Kong” will be unveiled to the public for the first time in an opening reception on 23 August. Initiated by Iverson Ng, a Hong Kong-born Estonian columnist with the Postimees newspaper, it is part of a series of exhibitions opening in Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius simultaneously, with the goal to establish a permanent historical connection between Hongkongers and the peoples of the Baltic States.

Solvita Vība, director of the Occupation Museum told LSM:

"On the thirtieth anniversary of the Baltic Way, thousands of Hong Kong democracy activists gathered in the 'Hong Kong Way' campaign, following the example of the Baltic States, to show their unity and determination to the international community by joining hands.

"The Baltic Way is one of the most important events of the Third Awakening and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia Edgars Rinkēvičs has also expressed support for the repetition of this inspiring and peaceful action in Hong Kong.”

The exposition in Rīga is curated by Young Blood Initiative and Free Hong Kong Exhibition with the support of the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia.

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