Title: Exchange 換
Type: Half Fictional and Half Documentary
Length: 10:08 minutes
Studio Name: Hamster Studio
Before the existence of coins and banknotes, our ancestors had long been using valuables, like salt, fur, and produce to trade for other goods. In the modern world, the bartering economy has been replaced by tangible paper money or electronic transactions. Money can buy us almost everything. The wealthier you are, the more you can afford. However, since the outbreak of the coronavirus in Wuhan in January 2020, a new but old form of trading evolved in Hong Kong. Having learnt a painful lesson in 2003’s SARS, Hong Kongers are fully aware of the importance of face masks during epidemics. Facing a short supply but tremendous demand, prices of masks skyrocketed. Masks are somehow more precious than Hong Kong Dollars, because masks keep the virus at bay but money can’t. People with abundant surgical masks exchange them for groceries and daily necessities, with people who lack masks. Masks has become an unofficial currency in our community. Besides goods, there are people exchanging masks for something else, something abstract and intangible. But the question is, can masks buy us everything like money does?
Student films reflect only their authors’ own opinions and are not endorsed by the course instructor and the university.