New Issue Out Now — Hong Kong Zines and the Fight for Freedom

Broken Pencil’s Fall Issue — Out Now!

Our cover story — “Freedom Hi” by Tiffany Lam —  covers the role of zines and underground arts in the ongoing Hong Kong protests. Don’t miss this groundbreaking article, available ONLY in the print and digital editions of Broken Pencil Magazine issue #85.

What is Freedom Hi? In the midst of the protests, a video captures a protestor being jeered at by a Hong Kong policeman. The policeman insults the protestor, using the word “Hi” — Cantonese slang for “pussy”. From this video, an artistic response to the Hong Kong protests is born. This article explores how zines and artwork  coalesced around the Freedom Hi idea, adding unique and invaluable perspective on the aspirations of a generation of Hong Kong creators terrified of what Chinese rule will mean for their free expression and future.

Excerpts from the article:

Freedom-Hi — it’s a curious name for an exhibition. To an outsider, it may seem like an optimistic greeting, as in “Hello, freedom!” But in fact, you can find thousands in the streets of Hong Kong donning t-shirts emblazoned with the phrase.

Nearby, others were getting step-by-step instructions on how to handle the inevitable clouds of tear gas: Put on your face mask. Don’t run backwards if the tear gas comes because you might trample people behind you. Use this plastic wrap on your arms to protect your skin.


Zines also offer an important alternative space for Hong Kong publishing, according to Li. ‘Many of the large publishers in Hong Kong are subsidized or indirectly subsidized by the Chinese state,’ he notes slyly.


Full article only available in the New Issue! Subscribe to Broken Pencil NOW or buy the new issue HERE