How was your dream ?

Thaddé Comar


« How was your dream ? » is a documentary photographic project realized during the Hong Kong protests between June and October 2019. This work deals with new forms of demonstration and insurrection in our post-contemporary era dominated by seamless control societies. The title refers to the turn of phrase used by the demonstrators to securely evoke their demonstration experiences.

Even if this theme, which I have been developing for several years, requires me to take part in a certain number of manifestations and social events, my artistic practice tends to get rid of the codes of photojournalism that usually comes along the classic representation of news. My goal is to search and explore a timeless, symbolic aesthetic that apprehends reality through the correspondences and echoes of a multiplicity of singular images.

Five years ago the « umbrella movement » was quickly repressed by state and police violence. In 2019 the democratic uprising that began in May gave itself the means to continue. Faced with a sophisticated arsenal of control (facial recognition, geolocation, carding, eavesdropping, infiltration, water cannons, tear gas, helicopter, sonic weapons, non-lethal rifles), the Hong Kong demonstrators have developed a repertoire of techniques based on principles of invisibility and intraceability (anonymity, lasers of blindness, pocket of faraday, vision by drones, masks of all kinds, encrypted communication etc…), allowing them to mitigate the effects of the repression.

These new devices, which contribute to the transformation of the forms of struggle and resistance, however, push for the gradual erasure of individual singularities. In the future, will societies and sophisticated systems of control, force us to make our human singularities disappear? Will this be done in favor of a new common identity ?

As evokes the novelist and philosopher Alain Damasio in La zone du dehors « The end justifies the means… But who will justify the end ? »

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  • Blossom Everywhere
    (Motto used to invite protesters to attempt actions anywhere in the city.)

  • Black Police
    (The term "Black Police" used by the demonstrators is an allusion to the suspected collusion between the police forces and the triads ( also called "black society"). )

  • Peanut Eaters
    (Name people watching the manifestations are called by the protesters. )

  • Freedom Cunts
    ("Freedom cunts" an insult first used in June by the police against protester and caught on camera. Since then, many Hong Kongers have reclaimed the insult as a badge of honor. )

  • It's Raining
    (Name of this tactic used to hide radical actions. )

  • The Water Dance 1
    (Popular nickname for water cannon. )

  • The Water Dance 2
    (Popular nickname for water cannon. )

  • Comrade 1
    (Protesters are ironically using this communist terme to define each others. )

  • Comrade 2
    (Protesters are ironically using this communist terme to define each others. )

  • Comrade 3
    (Protesters are ironically using this communist terme to define each others. )

  • Smart Eyes
    (Nickname given to cameras since the Suspicions about the implementation of Chinese facial recognition systems in Hong Kong.)

  • The Shrine
    (The Prince Edward station exit B1 became a shrine after police raided groups of demonstrators inside the subway. )

  • furtives 1

  • furtives 2

  • Run & Hit
    (Name of the tactic used by police during late night
    demonstrations. )

  • The Wizard
    (Nickname from DOTA game for drones used by protesters. )

  • Laser Guns
    (At a police press conference, the protester's lasers were described as "laser guns". Since then, the therme has been used with irony. )

  • Fu Fu Fu
    (“伏伏伏” is the sound of the helicopter operating, also the word 伏 stand for "Ambush". )

  • The Dream

  • Teargas City
    (Nickname of Hong Kong. )