Time magazine has anointed Joshua Wong as the face of Hong Kong’s student protest.
“The headline should be changed to ‘The faces of protest’,” Wong said in a self-effacing Facebook post after the magazine ran a cover story on the student movement in its Oct. 6 issue.
An image of thousands of protesters would have been more suitable on the magazine’s cover than his solitary photo, he said.
Wong said the leaderless nature of the democracy protest is a strength, not a weakness.
“If Hong Kong simply relied on me, the movement would fail,” he said.
The article gives Wong, 17, plenty of air time, along with the democracy campaign which it describes as a “youthquake that’s shaking up Hong Kong”.
“Wong has no wish to serve as an icon and is still shocked that his arrest last month galvanized so many to join the cause,” Time said.
Also, he has no heroes — not Gandhi or Tiananmen leader Wang Dan — and eschews conventions.
“I don’t want to follow the games of adults, handing out business cards that you’ll just put in the rubbish bin, chit-chat. Political reform is not going to come from going to meetings … We had to do radical action because our leaders did nothing,” he told the magazine.
The article describes Wong as “polite” off the podium, with the wistful demeanor of a young man forced to grow up fast.
Among his wishes: more time to play mobile games.
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