GE Salon

通識沙龍 2018-19「家‧鄉‧歸」
GE Salon 2018-19 Home.Homeland.Homecoming

Home refers to the place we live, to our family. It can also refer to our native land, our country, our Earth with its oceans as the habitat of all living beings.

Home nourishes lives, shapes new identities, mingles happiness and sorrow, weaves relationships, builds the future, and perpetuates our hopes.

The theme of this year GE Salon is "Home. Homeland. Homecoming". We will reflect on such a theme, so relevant and close to each one's life, through film screenings and talks that address the issues from multiple perspectives: from ecology, politics, economics, to our future, life, death, suffering, and identity.


Session 4 (Screening + Sharing)
Fly, Kite Fly

Speaker: Liang Chieh-Te (Film Director)
Moderator: George Jor
Date: 08 / 11 / 2018 (Thur)
Time: 6:30 - 9 pm
Venue: LT6, Yasumoto International Academic Park, CUHK

In Mandarin

Registration for CU Students and Staff
Registration for Alumni and General Public

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Session 3 (Screening + Sharing)
Ballad on the Shore

Speaker: Ma Chi Hang (Film Director) and Fisherman
Moderator: Chiu Chu Lee
Date: 25 / 10 / 2018 (Thur)
Time: 6:30 - 9 pm
Venue: LT6, Yasumoto International Academic Park, CUHK

About the Film

On the small isle of Tap Mun, the ocean breeze gently lifts up strands of grey hair on Lai Lin-shau’s head. He quietly sings in the characteristic tones of the fisherman’s ballads: Anchor large boats at the tip of To Nin, a sampan sends the lover to Sai See Island.....”. The melody alters with his moods and, seemingly without rules, the pitch and tones alternate and repeat themselves as if they were synchronising with the ocean waves.  The lyrics of these ballads tell the stories of the trials and tribulations of the life of the fisherman. The Lai family had, for generations, fished for a living in the waters of Tap Mun, their ballads are passed down from one generation to the next, but the songs are finding fewer and fewer listeners today. Born before WWII, Mr. Lai has been wed to his wife for over 60 years. He is one of the few people alive who knows the fisherman’s ballads intimately. None of his children followed the ancestral path of a fisherman, and none experienced the harsh and unforgiving life at sea. They are not even aware of his singular and priceless knowledge of the ballads.

The deeply tanned skin with a whiff of sea salt coming off their bodies are the distinctive signs of an ex-fisherman to the city dwellers. As the fishing community shrinks, they found new ways of life on land. One performs and teaches the ballads to young children; another uses the ballads to spread her Christian faith. The ballads have become a spiritual harbour for these landed fishermen and appear to offer solace and certain selective nostalgia to a life of hardship. These ballads were once part of the nautical landscape of Tap Mun and as the memories of the fishermen’s past lives fade, the words and melodies have come ashore bringing spiritual serenity to those who would hear the songs of the sea.

About the Director

He receives his B.A. in Fine Arts and M.A in Philosophy from The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Attributed to the trainings on fine arts and philosophical thinking, his films have a thematic consistency on humanity and justice. Short films, Women Security Guard (2015) was awarded Silver Award in Incubator for Film and Visual Media (IFVA). Malinois Gaze (2016) made a presence in several film festivals, including Clermont-Ferrard Short Film Festival and Chinese Independent Film Festival. He moves on to directing his own feature films.

His latest documentary film, Ballad on the Shore (2017) is widely reputed for its poetic handling on a disappearing local fishermen culture. The film opens an active dialogue on the unconquerable vanishes of old cultures, attracting over 50 pieces of critic reviews and extensive media coverage. The film was selected to the 2016 CNEX pitching forum. He is the founding member of an emerging independent film organisation Autonomous Cinema, promoting film culture and community education.

In Cantonese

Registration for CU Students and Staff
Registration for Alumni and General Public

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Session 2
Africa as Home to Humanity: Immigration, Current Challenges and Facing the Future

Speaker: Lawal Mohammed Marafa
Moderator:Lui Wing Sing
Date: 11 / 10 / 2018 (Thur)
Time: 7:00 - 9 pm
Venue: LT6, Yasumoto International Academic Park, CUHK


Brief Description

Scientifically, it is still debatable as to whether Africa is the origin of humanity. Although there are many documents that allude to this notion, others have assumed otherwise. Whether this is a myth or reality, that fact that Africa has seen its share of exodus from the continent cannot be disputed. In recent times, the migration out of Africa has assumed a new dimension. This trend is posing challenges to a continent full of resources and to destinations with historical connection either as colonialists or trade partners.

In current times, Africa has also acquired new partners like China and India with aid and trade as items of discussion in addition to its traditional partners in this new scramble for Africa. What is the situation like on the African continent? What has it got to contribute to the global commons? In fact, who are the Africans? What are the challenges and prospects for prosperity? Seen as the last frontier of development, this presentation will seek to discuss the myths, identify the realities and highlight the challenges that confront the African continent. In conclusion, the prospects and potentials of Africa as an emerging destination of note, will be discussed. 

About the Speaker

Lawal Mohammed Marafa is associate professor at the Department of Geography and Resource Management of The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

In English

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Session 1 (Film Screening + Sharing)*
A Plastic Ocean

Sharing: Samantha Lee, Li Ming
Moderator: Li Chun Hong
Date: 27 / 09 / 2018 (Thur)
Time: 6:30 - 9 pm
Venue: LT5, Yasumoto International Academic Park, CUHK

In Cantonese

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* This activitiy is co-organized with the Campus Planning and Sustainability Office

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Since 2006, the Office of University General Education and the Baldwin Cheng Research Centre for General Education have jointly organized GE Salons, the objectives of which are to explore issues of common concern to mankind from a cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural perspective with the hope that students can in this manner be encouraged to think about the issues existing in the modern world and that an atmosphere of discussion can be created on campus.  The topics discussed on separate occasions are as set forth below: