來源：香港物流查詢 | 金婉婷 2020年12月11日16:11
母親為我們訂下的刻板人生規劃讓我對自由有一種病態的痴迷。自由的追求, 自由的行動，自由的創意表達。諷刺的是， 她越是抑制我的藝術傾向， 反而越驅使我成為一名藝術家。
在英語中，我們將老式英語前綴"freo"與後綴"dom"相結合，獲得"自由"一詞。"Freo"從日爾語單詞"friaz"演變而來，意思是所愛的人， 家族中人。"-dom"是一個抽象的後綴，用來表示圍繞集體狀態或條件的想法。因此，英語中"自由"的詞源產生於兩個概念的融合： 親情和集體主義。 自由是集體性的。
我以為，基於這種語言分析，我可以對語言如何體現自由的文化定義給大家提供深入的見解。但是顯然我的論點不攻自破了。因為作為一個全球社會，我們所有人現在都必須要學會理解個體自由與集體自由之間的關係。封城囚禁了我們，但帶來了更大的羣體自由 – 遠離新冠傳染的自由。為了實現這種集體自由，我們剝奪了個人自由。 世界各地不同的人羣對這種自由悖論反應不一，從自私到無私、從個人主義到集體主義，不一而足。
這次全球疫情使我對於全球社會里自由的概念充滿疑問。政府的權力在危機中到底應該有多大的延申？我們願意放棄何種自由來換取技術便利? 哪些自由是以犧牲我們的生態系統、我們的討論、還是彼此互為全球公民為代價的？我認為作為藝術家， 我們可以提出問題，而不被要求給予簡單簡易的答案。我認為我們需要捍衞永遠不止的探尋的權利，使得世界各地的藝術家能夠提出不易回答的問題，而無需為安全或生計擔憂。
Pandemic. Reflection. Creation.
Anchuli Felicia King
Perhaps some of you can relate to this.
My mother had a life plan for her two children.
The plan was exceedingly simple - and at the risk of reinforcing stereotypes about Asian parenting - exceedingly Asian. As she had two identical twin daughters, one was going to become a doctor and the other a lawyer. But my mother wasn’t going to settle there. No, the lawyer was going to graduate from Oxford, and the doctor would specialize as a neurosurgeon.
Now, my sister managed some minor rebellions. Instead of Oxford, she went to Cambridge. But by and large, as a successful international trade lawyer, she has dutifully enacted the plan.
I would have killed people as a neurosurgeon. I have restless fidgety hands and a short attention span. My mind often drifts to big philosophical questions at the expense of the task directly in front of me. Funnily enough, the traits that would have made me a murderous imbecile in an operating theatre are probably what make me a decent writer.
The rigidity of my mother’s plan instilled in me a kind of pathological obsession with freedom. Freedom in my pursuits, freedom of movement, freedom of creative expression. Ironically, her attempts to clamp down on my artistic inclinations as a child only drove me further towards becoming an artist.
This obsession with freedom reached its zenith last year, when I decided to give up my apartment and live out of a bag for the indeterminate future. The bag, it should be noted, was not a suitcase. It was a bag. And the bag was just large enough to fit my barest possessions: five shirts, two pairs of jeans, my laptop and a scrapbook for my theatre tickets.
I acknowledge that for most people living out of a bag for a year sounds like the opposite of freedom. But for me it, it was incredibly liberating. I wasn’t bound by anything. I could just pick up at a moment’s notice and travel anywhere. I worked out the bare minimum I needed to survive, and it turns out it wasn’t much at all. Yes, it was an administrative nightmare, and at times proved disorienting, stressful and isolating. But it was overwhelmingly freeing.
And after a year of travelling the world, living out of a bag, the pandemic hit.
In Mandarin, you get the word freedom: 自由 - by combining two prepositions, “zi” and “you.” “Zi” in ancient script was a pictogram of a nose, which evolved into an ideogram to indicate the self. One’s nose, one’s self. In Mandarin, the etymology of freedom arises from one’s self. It’s a linguistically individualistic conception of freedom.
In English, we get the word “freedom” by combining the Old English prefix “freo” with the suffix “dom.” “Freo” evolved from the Germanic word “friaz,” which meant a loved one, someone in your clan. And “-dom” was an abstract suffix used to indicate ideas around a collective state or condition. So the etymology of “freedom” in English arises from the fusion of two concepts: kinship and collectivism. Freedom is collective.
I thought that based on this linguistic analysis, I’d be able to offer you some perspicacious insights on how language informs respective cultural conceptions of freedom. But of course, my argument completely fell apart. Because one of the big things we all had to learn as a global society was that tension between individual and collective freedom. Being stuck in lockdown allowed for a greater collective freedom - freedom from disease. And in order to achieve that collective freedom, we had individual freedoms stripped away. People around the world responded to this freedom paradox with great displays of selfishness and selflessness, individualism and collectivism in equal measure.
Having lost my freedom of movement and pursuits this year, I took renewed solace in my freedom of expression. Because even though my life as a nomadic international artist had been taken away, I still had access to a borderless universe of words, stories and ideas.
This pandemic has raised so many questions for me about our conceptualization of freedom as a global society. How far should governmental power be allowed to extend in a crisis? What freedoms are we willing to give up in exchange for the ease of new technologies? Which of our freedoms are coming at the expense of our ecosystem? Our discourse? Each other as global citizens? I think as artists we can ask those questions without expecting concise or reductive answers. And I think we need to defend our right to be restlessly inquisitive, for artists around the world to ask those difficult questions without fear for their safety or livelihood.
My mother grew up in a rural town in Kanchanaburi, Thailand. She used to tell me stories of the extreme poverty she had experienced as a child. Walking to school on scorching bitumen with bare feet because her shoes had fallen apart, and she couldn’t afford a new pair.
While as child, my mother’s plan felt oppressive, as an adult I understand that it was intended to secure us freedom. The freedom that comes with economic security, self-assuredness, professional success. Freedom from the oppressions of being a young woman whose ambition and intellect is stifled by poverty, an oppression she never wanted us to experience. So while I’ve probably missed the boat on winning a Nobel Prize in Medicine or performing live brain surgery, I still think the plan has been a staggering success.