Everyday Safety

CCA Web-journal

with Joanna Mansbridge

our thanks to
Anna Tonkin

Beware of Falling Fruit


The tension between the living’s growing and the city’s economic growth manifests in a discourse of everyday safety that pervades Hong Kong. Everyday safety tutors a disposition tuned to vigilance and caution. Voices in varying degrees of severity fill mass transit stations announcing the potential dangers posed by escalators, train doors, and other passengers. Metal fences line sidewalks to keep pedestrians from stepping onto the street. “Beware” signs warn against trees, animals, and broken pavement. These measures prioritize human defense against other forms of living. “Safety” and “threat” work as mutually reinforcing discourses and dispositions, provoking a question about Hong Kong’s continued functioning faced with the accumulation of existential and everyday menaces.