Island studies is an interdisciplinary field that encourages the study of islands on their own terms and perspectives. By reframing our habitual terrestrial approach to space and distance, island studies takes a relational and non-dualistic approach to rediscover and better understand islands. That includes the study of the mainland-island, as much as the island-to-island relationship and other dynamics between the land and the sea. Emphasizing movement and connections, island studies pays special attention to performative practices often over-shaded by tangible cultural expression or physical set-up. It calls for the collective effort from diverse academic disciplines and actual practices, including but not limited to anthropology, arts, architecture, biology, geography, ecology, technology & engineering, political science, sociology and urban planning, to create a better, broader and more profound understanding of islands.
Though departing from the island, island studies does not limit itself to studies of the island but is open to various kinds of investigation that grant water a central position, be it in humanistic or scientific knowledge and phenomena. For that reason, this organization takes the ‘network’ as its form and emphasizes multilateral and reciprocal relationships. ‘Network’ does not only remind us of encounters of cultures originating from maritime trajectories but also that any fruitful result can only be gathered from decentralization. Island studies is an itinerary without end that rolls into a volume (or globe) of thickness.
As an emerging field, island studies has attracted more and more attention from different corners of the world. As a place surrounded by water, Hong Kong’s watery environment has been treated as a problem instead of a resource historically and hidden by the dominant discourse on continental-centre narration. Recently, we have noticed a rising interest in islands in Hong Kong and the region. Be it curatorial and place-making experimentation or purely academic research, all are pointing to the need for a ‘network’ that can cater to the further development of the field, assist with access to information and respond to the curiosity of the general public. We consider it time to establish an organization to foster islanders, island lovers, island studies researchers and other like-minded friends exploring the possibility of island studies in Hong Kong.
#關係 #跨學科 #操演性 #以水為本 #網絡 #地方知識 #生活實踐
#Relational #Multi-disciplinary #Performativity #Centralityofwater #Network #Knowledge #Practices