Pushing out of my comfort zone: let’s go Hong Kong!

a night time shot of Hong Kong skyline & Victoria Harbor from KowloonIn October this year, I’m going to spend just over a week in Hong Kong. It doesn’t sound much – it’s not long, its not the ends of the earth – but for me is quite a big push.

I had some development funds remaining, and everything I thought about doing seemed in someway to replicate what I have already experienced, to be more suited to others, or simply to not quite fit. I wanted to have a final stretch – to push myself into something that was simply unlike anything I had ever done before.

During the course of the last year, I had heard a lot about Hong Kong – who working in the cultural sector could have failed to? Hong Kong will invest HK$23 Billion in West Kowloon over the next 10 years transforming the global arts infrastructure through one development including 17 new buildings.

It’s not all about the new though. I am interested in finding out how diversity and inclusion are integrated into the current cultural programming and infrastructure within Hong Kong, and how this is being extended, affected, impacted by the cultural developments at West Kowloon. I’m aware too that this could be a two-way exchange – there is so much I have to learn and equally I have knowledge, skills and experience that may be of use there too.

But there are personal challenges for me too. I don’t live in a city – I choose to be based in the country, I live next to a farm and when at home I’m in the woods at least twice a day walking my dog. I find cities exciting – but also stifling – and you can’t get much more of a dynamic city than Hong Kong. There’ll be a challenge for me too in relation to communication. Although English is widely spoken in Hong Kong, it is harder to lip-read than in many places as the lip movements are reduced. Ensuring understanding will be a priority and I will have to find new ways to both push out and to receive meanings.

I’m developing a plan for my time out there – meetings, discussions, seminars, contacts – but also trying to keep some time open to simply see what happens. And also making inroads now – who knows who might read this and immediately think of someone I just simply have to meet out there! If that’s you – then let me know asap so I can make contact and add them into the plan!

Image from Robert S. Donovanand remember if you have enjoyed this and want to read more, you can subscribe to Jo Verrent’s blog by email.

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