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Counter-Archives – Bo Wang in conversation with Tiffany Sia

Join Bo Wang and Tiffany Sia for a conversation about preservation and the archive.

Can archives represent history? What kind of historical experience can be preserved? This conversation between Bo Wang and Tiffany Sia opens with their shared interests in the archival images from Hong Kong, a city famously regarded by Ackbar Abbas as being caught in “the politics of disappearance” that has deeply haunted the ways how the city is seen. However, Abbas’ description was 25 years ago. Did we already reach the point in time past its due? Does a new temporality produce experiences and memories of history that have drifted away from how we used to engage with the same images? Is what Abbas names “the politics of disappearance” unique to the city of Hong Kong, or does it possibly have echoes elsewhere? By reflecting on images that deal with both sensation and banality of history in documentary films, amateur videos as well as Sinophone cinema, this conversation tries to respond to these questions.

Image caption: What Rules The Invisible (2022), Tiffany Sia. Courtesy of the artist.