Hana Meihan Davis comes from a long line of democracy activists in Hong Kong.
Today, they are all either in exile, facing arrest, or something in between.
Hana Meihan Davis is the author of the new book For The Love of Hong Kong: A Memoir From My City Under Siege, the first book under the new Global Dispatches publishing imprint.
The book tells the story of Hana’s family and friends who have been on the frontline of an epic struggle to defend democracy, freedom of speech and human rights in the face of increasing repression by Chinese government authorities.
Hana Meihan Davis is of the generation of Hong Kongers born just after the handover of Hong Kong from British rule to the government of China in 1997. Her parents are prominent pro-democracy activists and academics. Her godfather — the man who walked her mom down the aisle at her wedding and for whom Hana’s middle name honors — is Martin Lee, the well- known around the world as the father of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement.
In her book, she weaves together stories from generations of activists into her own personal history, to give readers a visceral sense of how rapidly Hong Kong has transitioned from a bastion of liberty and free speech to a place where dissent has been criminalized.
Whereas just a couple years ago, millions of Hong Kongers took to the street in mass protest, today Hong Kongers face arrest for what might be written on a protest sign or a post on social media. This societal transition is profound and one that Hana masterfully explores in this book.
The book is about the length of a magazine and can be read in one or two sittings.
In this episode, Hana Meihan Davis discusses the history of Hong Kong and the city’s rapid democratic decline.