Prior to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in Hong Kong, there had been an extended period of civic unrest which began as opposition to an extradition bill but which later grew into a larger socio-political movement. We consider the relationship between ongoing political sentiments and the Covid-19 pandemic as evident through public signs; particularly, how commercial signage aligns and disaligns with government discourse on solidarity evident through recontextualization of the official tagline “Together, we fight the virus!” We suggest three analytical categories: (1) signs which demonstrate an alignment stance with the institutional sense of solidarity; (2) alignment with the pro-democracy movement, and thus disalignment from the institutional sense; and (3) politically ambiguous stances appealing to a broad understanding of solidarity for commercial gain. The pandemic occurring at a politically sensitive time has caused and made evident fractures in the way solidarity is construed, resulting in (dis)alignment and differing stances arising from the various social actors who have emplaced signs.
- Hong Kong
- Linguistic Landscape