Ka-ming WU is an Associate Professor and Director of the Masters Program in Intercultural Studies in the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Trained as a cultural anthropologist, she has undertaken extensive ethnographic research to examine the cultural politics of state and society, waste, and most recently, gender and nationalism in contemporary China. She has published the books Reinventing Chinese Tradition: The Cultural Politics of Late Socialism (University of Illinois Press, 2015) and Living with Waste: Economy, Community and Space in a Beijing Scavengers’ Site (Chinese University of Hong Kong Press, 2017).
Looking closely at the changing faces and materials of some pedestrian surfaces, this essay shows the transformation of neighbourhood space and culture in Hong Kong during and after the 2019 protests. By showing the movements and sensual encounters of residents walking through their neighbourhoods, the article reveals the affective everyday encounters or an emergent politics of affect in which the ‘intensities of feeling’—sounds, senses, and other non-verbal dynamics—prevail, so deepening an understanding of authoritarian politics as embodied in everyday life.