Writer Ma Jian says that Tai Kwun, the renovated Central Police Station/Victoria Prison complex, has cancelled a Hong Kong International Literary Festival event featuring him. The HK$3 billion (or something) facility is supposed to serve as an arts hub, but being under quasi-government (HK Jockey Club) management, it must clearly put the Chinese Communist Party’s ultra-refined cultural tastes first.
Maybe we should be amazed and thankful that Ma is even allowed in to Hong Kong (assuming he is). Any chance of hosting him at the Foreign Correspondents Club? Any chance of the Festival moving to Taiwan in future? Any chance the forthcoming M+ Museum being shut the day after it opens until it loses all those Ai Weiwei pieces?
Next up, the Hong Kong government bans anyone talking about or hosting talks about Free Expression Week. After all, this comes after [insert latest list of Asia World City’s cancelled exhibitions, intimidated artists, abducted publishers, un-shown films, expelled correspondents, etc].
Speaking of expelled correspondents, among the sponsors of the HK Literary Festival – the Financial Times!