The Hong Kong handover

Rozanna Lilley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper investigates the efforts to exteriorise and communalise Hong Kong in the public celebrations marking the 1997 ‘handover' from British to Chinese rule. Using Bhabha's notion of the colonial stereotype, I document the importance of commodifying history and the fusion of both epitaphs to Empire and invocations of Chinese nationalism as twin forms of colonialism. The repetition of stereotypes is traced to a transnational logic aimed at marketing events to a global television audience. I conclude that the dominant representational reliance on repetition functioned to prolong the constitutive anxieties provoked by the handover, preserving them in the public domain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-80
Number of pages19
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Hong Kong
  • China
  • colonialism
  • nationalism
  • nostalgia
  • colonial discourse
  • ritual
  • politics


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