Gabriele de Seta & Francesca Olivotti: Postcolonial Posts on Colonial Pasts Constructing Hong Kong nostalgia on social media

Hong Kong nostalgia has become a trademark aesthetic in representations of the city from literature and cinema to branding and advertising. This article traces the social construction of Hong Kong nostalgia back to digital media platforms and the everyday activities of users sharing and commenting historical images and textual memories related to the city’s colonial past. In dialogue with recent scholarship on time, media and memory, the authors identify a large Facebook group dedicated to the city’s colonial times and follow the activities of its members through qualitative methodologies guided by a network sensibility. By engaging with the circulation of historical photographs, personal narratives and material culture; and by examining the media practices involved in sharing and reconstructing local memories, the authors provide an ethnographically grounded portrayal of how everyday social media interactions contribute to a larger process of nostalgizing the city.