McDonald’s Radio University is a project that transforms branches of McDonald’s restaurants across a city into lecture spaces, creating a citywide university. The professors are immigrants or refugees who have had to leave their home countries, and the students are people who walk into a McDonald’s and order a lecture along with a burger and a coke. The McDonald’s Radio University at Tai Kwun Contemporary takes place not in an actual McDonald's restaurant, but in an exhibition space. The “professors” this time are people living in Hong Kong, and in addition to 3 new lectures created with them, there are 14 recorded lectures selected from 30 subjects delivered in Frankfurt, Berlin, Tokyo and Kanazawa. To listen to the lectures, scan the QR code and visit the website.
Professor: Leeh Ann
A former Filipino secondary school teacher turned domestic worker finds her voice through capturing self-defining moments in the streets of Hong Kong, a place she now calls home.
A Somali teacher tells the story of founding a local, free school from scratch at wartime and the challenges he encountered teaching liberal arts at a conflicted land.
Socially Engaged Practice
A 21 year-old Congolese college student talks about navigating Hong Kong’s fashion industry as a female black model and building brighter futures for the talented ethnic minorities.
Professor: Yohachi Nakajima
A Japanese war orphan in China tells the trajectory of a wavering life between Japan and China along with the classic Japanese literature "The Tale of the Heike".
Professor: Wang Nan
The second generation of Japanese war orphans in China talks about the formation of a street gang group "Dragon" and the knowledge of life after spending more than 20 years in prison.
An activist from Sudan talks about appropriation and visualization methods in public space and traces the links between activist tactics and military strategies.
Based on the activities of the poet Tin Moe and the radio pioneer Eugene McDonald, an expert from Aleppo discusses future possibilities of the radio medium.
A Syrian expert talks about journalist and historian Nizar Nayouf, the situation in the Syrian media and the role of journalism.
An architect from Aleppo deals with the term “ruin” and imagines Aleppo's future urban planning based on visionary suggestions.
An industrial diver from Iran translates his professional experience into general risk avoidance strategies and explains what is the greatest risk in life.
A professional strategist from Burkina Faso describes alternative survival strategies in the city and shares his special experiences and knowledge.
A former professional runner from Ghana recounts how he started running and speaks about the secrets and phenomenology of running.
Against the background of her own experiences, a hairdresser from Cameroon reports about strategies of business development and forms of emancipation.
An Eritrean scholar and former teacher explains the relationship between science, religion and life taking the example of Evolution Theory and Biotechnology.
A business scholar from Afghanistan reads Martin Heidegger's lecture and expands on it with new possibilities of "building-dwelling-thinking" and of the assembly.
An artist of Syrian and Ukrainian origin explores religious and social purification rituals and their influence on the political use of language.
The lecture introduces the concept of transfeminism and explores its relation to postcolonial developments. Personal experiences, as well as diverse theoretical references are included by the Ugandan lecturer.
Born in 1969. In 2002, he formed the theater company Port B, and since then has been producing installations, touring performances and social experiments utilizing urban spaces as a way of engaging with cities and societies across the world. In recent years, collaboration with those from other fields including visual art, tourism, literature, urban planning, and education has been the scope of his practice which has been broadening further, and he has applied his theatrical thoughts to opening up new possibilities in a variety of fields.
McDonald’s Radio University
Hong Kong edition
Site-specific interactive installation
Tai Kwun Contemporary
Tuesday to Sunday 11am-8pm
Concept/Direction: Akira Takayama
Professors in HK:
Dholeeh Ann A. Hidalgo (Leeh Ann), Harmony IIunga, Maxamuud
Editor: Hallie Tam
Space Design: Keigo Kobayashi
Web Design: Hironori Oooka
Translation: Teresa Bernauer, Dino Rib, Azusa Suga, Heiwa Wong
Narrator: Daniel Ho, Ka Ki Ma, Hallie Tam
Recording: Martin Lai (Marsical Label)
Sound Editing: Masahiro Ugajin
Cooperation: Kaoru Ueda
Assistant Direction/Production Management: Saki Tanaka
Production Management: Erin Li (Tai Kwun Contemporary)
Special Thanks: Learning Together, Resolve Foundation
Commissioned by Tai Kwun Contemporary, 2020
The project started in 2017 at Künstlerhaus Mousonturm and across seven McDonald’s stores in Frankfurt, Germany.