The Mass Transit Railways was planned and built from the late 1960s, when the British-Hong Kong government decided to invest more proactively in urban production as a response to political tensions and as a way to stimulate the economy. The MTR has surely contributed to the prosperity of Hong Kong but its role goes far beyond the mere transportation of the public. Its chief shareholder being Hong Kong government, the MTR company has been a major player in Hong Kong’s political economy. Today, it brings together railway infrastructures, urban design, public/private housing, and land policy. The MTR’s modes of operations are efficient and profitable as well as controversially hegemonic.

Our project invites you to take a journey upon the Hong Kong metro. Although it is up to you where these directions will take you, our investigation has compelled us to complicate the common-sense understanding of the MTR as a simple destination-oriented transport. For us the metro appears to be everything but a non-place where human beings remain anonymous. Through our collective research, we have come to perceive the MTR as more than just a field of power, discipline and conformity, resulting from the top-down civilizing discourses.  Also, we see more in it than unconstrained subjectivities, free to flow in the underground of the city. Instead, the MTR is a contested domain opened for surprises and therefore worthy of analysis.

At the end of August 2017, during our Urban Ethnography Summer School, we have found there is much of interest through, and between the lines, both physical and imaginary of the MTR. We have attempted to occupy these gaps, filling them with voices and images. We have capture words and movements. We have recorded our own thoughts and discussions. The intention of our exhibition and the goal of this website is to create a polyphonic space of interpretation and imagination. In polyphony, no voice is dominant, meaning may emerge through and between them.

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MTR的設計和興建始於1960年代晚期。作為城市基建的一部分,MTR體現了港英政府對以更主動的方式回應彼時的政治張力和社會經濟機會。港鐵為香港的繁榮做出了貢獻,但它的角色不止步于作為公益的交通工具。港鐵公司的最大股東是香港政府,因此在香港的政治經濟中,它扮演了重要的角色,橫跨軌道基建、城市設計、公共/私人住宅,以及土地政策。港鐵高速運轉,利潤豐厚,但它對民生的支配也引起關於港鐵霸權的討論。

我們邀請您加入一段港鐵之旅。旅程的終點由您自己決定,但在這裡,我們試圖展現所觀察到的港鐵的復雜性,超越對關於它的“常識”和理所應當的知識。在這裏,港鐵不再只是一個帶我們到達到目的地的交通系統或“非地點”–人類可以匿名的轉瞬即逝的空間。在這裏,港鐵不再只是一個在自上而下的文明話語中制造出來的的關於權力、規訓和順從的空間。它也不是主體性可以不受約束的地方。相反,它充滿驚喜。

從這些驚喜裏,我們看到了一系列有意思的元素。它們不僅湧現在港鐵這個物質空間中,而且漂浮在日常話語裏。我們試圖用不同的聲音來填充那些存在於權力和主觀能動性之間的空隙。 這些聲音產自我們的觀感,也產自我們自身。