Raising the Bar, an international NGO aimed at making education a part of a city’s popular culture, will hold its first mass education event in Hong Kong on March 31st.
Ten top academics from local universities will be giving lectures in bars scattered around Central, Sheung Wan and Soho, on topics from Internet freedom to ethnic tension, fiction writing to community innovation. They include: Avron Boretz (CUHK), Cesar Harada (Goldsmiths), Chan Sze-Chi (BU), Dekai Wu (HKUST), Jason Ng (HKU), Karen Laidler (HKU), Kristof van den Troost (CUHK), Lokman Tsui (CUHK), Puja Kapai (HKU), Xu Xi (CityU)
The aim, like its original New York event, is to bring outstanding higher educators from the ivory tower to a wider community. Venues include the Boom Art Bar, Club 71, Culture Club, Fringe Club, KEE Club, Libertine, Little Lab Central, Orange Peel, Salon No. 10, and Sense 99.
“Our goal is to raise the bar on the content people consume in their everyday lives,” says Eppie Lau, organiser of Raising the Bar Hong Kong. “We are all inundated by tidal waves of content each day, but how can we cut out all the noise and stick to quality content?”
“The talks will discuss and analyse some of the most pressing issues of 2014, touching upon Hong Kong’s constitutional development and also the case of Erwiana Sulistyaningsih. Drawing on the experience of the Umbrella Movement, Prof. Kristof Van Der Troost will revisit the hit film, ‘Let the Bullets Fly’ as a way of reflecting on the nature of revolutions from past to present. Professor Puja Kapai will also discuss domestic violence from the perspectives of the victims, analysing socio-cultural barriers that affect their decisions to seek help and protection.”
The format of the talks is designed to engage the audience in meaningful conversations: professors will speak for 30 minutes and then mingle with their audience over a beer. “We are all craving real-life bonding in an age where everyone is too over-connected digitally. The idea is to invite participants to just sit down and be able to have a very relaxed yet intense debate with a professor. Drop your keyboard, debate with beer!” adds Lau.