The Fifth Estate
View all events in this series
Joshua Wong was still a teenager when he rose to international prominence as a leader in Hong Kong’s 2014 Umbrella Movement, protesting increased Chinese Communist Party intervention in the city’s electoral system.
A lot has happened since. Wong has served two prison terms and been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He's co-founded a new political party, Demosistō, and written a book, Unfree Speech. All the while, the protest movement in Hong Kong has simmered on, boiling over last year into extraordinary mass protests and brutal police confrontations.
With Sally Warhaft, Wong will discuss the evolution of Hong Kong’s democracy movement and the impact of COVID-19. Assembly restrictions enforced due to the pandemic have hampered demonstrations and possibly cleared the path for more authoritarian rule in the city. In mid-April, more than a dozen high-profile pro-democracy activists were arrested.
How does Wong expect these arrests to impact Hong Kong's legislative elections in September? What effect might a weakened United States and an emboldened China have on the One Country, Two Systems principle that grants Hong Kong special autonomy?
Wong will reflect on these questions and more on Tuesday 12 May.
Watch the stream below.
It’s an uncertain moment for the arts, for writers and for everybody. If you’re in a position to support our efforts to bring you books, writing and ideas from a safe distance, you can make a contribution here. Thank you for your generosity.
Joshua Wong is a Hong Kong student activist and politician born in 1996. He serves as secretary-general of pro-democracy party Demosisto, which promotes democracy and progressive values through street activism and international advocacy. He has been named by TIME, Fortune, Prospect and Forbes as one of the world’s most influential leaders. In 2018 he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his leading role in the Umbrella Movement.
Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians' lives in the fog of the Covid-19 pandemic. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.
Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.
For in-depth insider analysis of current affairs, it doesn't get any better than The Fifth Estate.
This long-running series is a mainstay of the Wheeler Centre’s programme, and of public conversation in Melbourne. Twice a month, our in-house news anchor Sally Warhaft hosts guests from the world of politics, culture, journalism and international relations to dissect pressing questions of policy, power and public affairs. It's free, it's fortnightly and it's a chance to give complex local and global issues the thoughtful discussion they deserve.
Guests are announced in the weeks prior to events, so keep an eye on our website (or the Wheeler Weekly newsletter) for updates. Subscribe to the popular Fifth Estate podcast – or book a (free) ticket – for expert analysis on today's key debates.