Protests that began since last June in 2019 have changed the dynamics of storytelling. As a father himself, James must also think about these issues for his son.
James: We have to talk about the protests that began since last June in 2019. We are facing a really big problem and we may not be able to solve this. When we organize activities, in picture books there are many talking about peace, education on global citizenship, inequality, migrants, and justice and war. One of the big impacts of the protests is how do we talk about these issues now? How do we use picture books to talk about these issues? If we didn’t have Hong Kong in this situation with the protests, it’s easy to talk about picture books. We can know that these issues are taking place in other places, but when we talk about Hong Kong in this context, if we use similar picture books, how do we talk about this and how do we explain this? The challenge isn’t bad and it’s positive, but we have to confront this. Even without picture books, we still need to talk to the children. The problem is with the picture books, how do I assist parents in communicating with their children on these issues? Even among parents, it is a big challenge for us; my son is now 12 years old. If our children are too indifferent to the social situation, we would be very sad, but if they are too passionate, like how a 13-year old was out there being a reporter during the protests, we would be really worried as well. In between these two extremes, I don’t want them to be too involved. If my child is very involved, this is very dangerous. Our next challenge is if we need to talk about picture books and we are in contact with these issues, we have to think very clearly when we present picture books to the parents and children, or we can listen to parents share their best ways of talking to their children. I think this is a very big challenge we see in the future, but it is also a very good opportunity.