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PRESS RELEASE: Hong Kong June 4th Museum Launches Global Crowdfunding and Establishes Permanent Online Museum: We cannot allow history to disappear again.
This year marks the 31st anniversary of the June 4 massacre, and the organization, Hong Kong’s June 4th Museum, plans to set up a June 4th Museum of Memory and Human Rights on the Internet. The online Museum aims to organize and permanently preserve historical archives, relics of the June 4th victims, and evidence of the CCP’s massacre scattered throughout the world. The museum is now launching a crowdfunding campaign, hoping to draw support from the international community. (Please click here to the crowdfunding page https://bit.ly/36YezvW )
The crowdfunding campaign will be launched on the international crowdfunding platform Kickstarter with the goal of raising 1.5 million Hong Kong dollars. The funds raised will enable us to complete the collection of files and digitization of data, resolve the technical issues involved in permanent preservation, and establish the June 4th Museum of Memory and Human Rights in the coming year. At the same time, the campaign funds will allow us to initiate research and exhibitions covering a series of key topics, enhancing our understanding of the past and ensuring dialogues with the social movements currently underway; translation of the archives into English will help form connections with world history.
The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China established the “Temporary June 4th Museum” in Hong Kong in 2012 and later opened the permanent “June 4th Museum” in 2014. Since then, the June 4th Museum has repeatedly suffered from harassment and intimidation. The Museum was once forced to move, and it was reopened in April 2019. As the Museum prepared for its re-opening, the iron gate on the front door was found opened on April 7, 2019, and the lock was gone. Ten wall sockets, the main fuse and the fuse box were found to have been vandalised with salt water.
In 2020, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress has passed Hong Kong’s national security law. Hong Kong’s “one country, two systems” arrangement has come to exist only in name, and the freedom in Hong Kong is deteriorating. The preservation of precious historical archives and relics now faces many difficulties. The helmet June 4th victim Wang Nan was wearing when he died, a letter written by victim Wu Xiangdong in Tiananmen Square before he was killed, the bullet lodged in eyewitness Zhang Jian’s body — these are examples of the evidence and heritage currently stored and preserved in the June 4th Museum. After 30 years of responsibility, the June 4th Museum and the team did not dare to give up. The Museum decided to officially launch the crowdfunding project on June 4, 2020. The goal of this crowdfunding campaign is to set up a permanent museum of human rights memory for the 1989 democratic movement and the June 4th Massacre.
The online Museum is now in the preliminary preparation stage and will aim to achieve three objectives in the coming year:
1. Collect historical files and store them in digital form. We will collect archives and materials about the 1989 democratic movement that have over the past three decades been scattered in university libraries, government archives and personal collections around the world. These include historical documents and private materials, diaries, audio recordings, video footage and so on. We will preserve these files by producing digital copies, translating these into English, establishing an archive query system and finally building encrypted storage that will prevent anyone from tampering with history and eliminating memory.
2. Rebuild the narrative with digital curation. We will organize an academic committee and curation advisory group to invite scholars, artists, and others to design online interactive exhibitions, restoring the “June 4th Massacre" to its context within the 1989 democracy movement, and returning “1989″ to the fuller context of events in the 1980s — in this way rebuilding the narrative and allowing June 4th to be defined and understood as being about resistance rather than just suppression. This process will allow the history of the 1989 democratic movement to better communicate with the broader history of the world and with social movements currently taking place.
3. Open source and shareable. The front-end design, basic functions, information structure, and technical framework of the June 4th Museum of Memory and Human Rights will all be offered as open source once the basic functions have been stabilized, with the hope that our interactive approach can be more easily applied to other online museum projects and other digital human rights museums.
Witnesses to the 1989 democracy movement are now passing away, and others who experienced it have gone into exile. The blood stains of Tiananmen Square were cleaned, but there has still not been a reckoning with the truth. We cannot allow history yet again to disappear. We hope that everyone who has, like us, been impacted and changed by the Chinese democratic movement in 1989 and by the June 4th Massacre, can contribute in some way to this meaningful project.
Let us preserve the history in our hands.
June 4, 2020: the crowdfunding project of the June 4th Museum of Memory and Human Rights will be officially launched on Kickstarter.com, with a target of 1.5 million Hong Kong dollars.
June 6, 2020: Press Conference of the June 4th Museum of Memory and Human Rights
Date: June 6, 2020 (Saturday)
Time: 11:00 am
Venue: Hong Kong June 4th Museum, 10/F, Ngai Wong Commercial Building, 11-13 Mong Kok Road, Mong Kok, Kowloon
In the summer of 2021, with the help of supporters, June 4th Museum of Memory and Human Rights will be officially opened on the Internet.
Truth never dies, nor will the candlelight be extinguished. We shall never surrender.
Please follow the June 4th Museum Facebook / Twitter for follow-up information.