In September 2014, tens of thousands occupied the streets of Hong Kong to protest for the right to vote in open elections – an agreement with Beijing many claim was ignored. It was named the “Umbrella Movement” after the umbrellas that protestors used to protect themselves against the tear gas and Hong Kong’s blistering heat.
One of the proudest voices behind Cantopop, Hong Kong’s dominant strain of pop music, became the unexpected face of the movement.
“That was the moment we realised the one country, two systems, was gradually fading away from us,” said singer Denise Ho to the BBC. She joined the protestors on the streets and in tents occupying the bustling business districts of Central and Kowloon. Ho started to use her music as a political instrument, first by touring in her home of Hong Kong, and later staging a series of concerts on the city’s trams.
Here are five of the songs that defined Ho’s career, both as an artist and as an activist.
See Denise Ho speak with Zing Tsjeng at Antidote in ‘Pop & Politics in Hong Kong, Sunday 1 September.