Thaddé Comar (b.1993, France) is a Paris and Lausanne based photographer juggling between commissions, editorials and personal projects. ‘How was your dream?’ is his latest documentary series portraying the recent Hong Kong protests, realised between June and October 2019.
Water cannons, tear gas, helicopters, sonic weapons and non-lethal rifles are the iconic indicators of contemporary protest. But these Hong Kong demonstrations, against an extradition law which would allow inmates to be transported to mainland China, also contain certain elements of a ‘Mad Max dystopian futurism’: the protesters, hiding their faces behind masks, used lasers to blind the police. They applied drone vision and encrypted communication in order to mitigate the effects of their repression.
In an intriguing manner, Comar explores photography’s relation with such violence. He portrays these novel forms of demonstration in the context of the Chinese (and Hong Kong legislators’) control mechanisms, most significantly, by avoiding visual codes of photojournalism. This work creatively avoids classical representations of ‘the news’ concerning these Hong Kong street protests – which have ended due to Covid-19 restrictions but nevertheless signify a ‘hot’ conflict that is still ongoing.