Jinyan Zeng 曾金燕, a scholar, writer, and documentary filmmaker, is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Lund University, Sweden (2021–23). Zeng was awarded her PhD at the University of Hong Kong in 2017, the 2017 Oak Fellowship (film and photography) at Colby College, and the 2020 Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Haifa. Zeng specialises in gender and sexuality, culture and politics, intellectual identity and social activism, and ethnicity, with particular emphasis on China. Her book Feminism and Genesis of the Citizen Intelligentsia in China (City University of Hong Kong Press, 2016) received a Publishing Award in the Social Science category of the 2017 Hong Kong Publishing Biennial Awards. Zeng produced and co-directed the documentary films Prisoners in Freedom City (Hu Jia, Zeng Jinyan, 2007) and Outcry and Whisper (Wen Hai, Zeng Jinyan, Trish McAdam, 2020), wrote the script for the short 3D animation A Poem to Liu Xia (Trish McAdam, 2015), and produced the feature documentary film We the Workers (Wen Hai, 2017).
This collection of six essays is developed from a webinar titled ‘(Self-)Censorship, Social Activism, and Chinese Feminist Scholarship’, which was held on 10 July 2020. Chinese feminism today faces increasing pressure for (self-)censorship at both domestic and international levels, on issues of social activism, the politics of identity, and the politics of representation. The webinar […]
In the past few months, I collaborated with Xu Xibai, a PhD candidate at the University of Oxford, to translate into Chinese Sebastian Veg’s groundbreaking book Minjian: The Rise of China’s Grassroots Intellectuals (Columbia University Press, 2019). We embarked on this project with the conviction that this translation will not only inspire debate on the […]
Liu Shao-hua earned her PhD in Sociomedical Sciences and Anthropology at Columbia University, and is now a Research Fellow at the Institute of Ethnology at the Academia Sinica, Taiwan. Her research takes AIDS, drug use, leprosy, and environmental issues as a lens for analysing the nature and trajectories of contemporary social change and individual life […]
Before retiring, Ai Xiaoming was a Professor in the Chinese Department at Sun Yat-sen University. She is also a feminist scholar, rights activist, and independent documentary filmmaker. In the 1980s and 1990s, Ai’s academic work focussed on modern and contemporary Chinese literature and comparative literature. In 1999, she moved to the United States for one […]
Ying Liang is an independent filmmaker, whose work encompasses film curation, teaching, and commentary. His well-known feature films include Taking Father Home (背鸭子的男孩 2005), When Night Falls (我还有话要说 2012), as well as the short movies Condolences (慰问 2009), A Sunny Day (九月二十八日·晴 2016). Ying’s works have won numerous international awards; When Night Falls earned him […]
After her return to China in June 2013, Wang Nanfu, a postgraduate from New York University, trained her camera on Ye Haiyan, an activist for sex workers (see Tiantian Zheng’s essay in this issue). In Hainan province, she filmed Ye’s protests against the sexual assault of several primary school girls by their principal, and the […]
Wang Lixiong is an author whose topics cover political fables, Tibet and Xinjiang issues, and the practice of grassroots democracy. His representative works include Yellow Peril (huang huo) published in 1991. In December 2017, he published a new novella about the digitalisation of Chinese politics titled The Ceremony (da dian). Zeng Jinyan: From Yellow Peril […]
Shot over a six-year period (2009–2015) mainly in the industrial heartland of south China—a major hub in the global supply chain—the 2017 film We the Workers (xiongnian zhi pan) follows labour activists as they find common grounds with workers, helping them to negotiate with local officials and factory owners over wages and working conditions. Threats, attacks, detention, and boredom become part of their daily lives as they struggle to strengthen worker solidarity in the face of threats and pressures from police and their employers. In the process, we see in their words and actions the emergence of a nascent working-class consciousness and labour movement in China. What follows is a conversation between Zeng Jinyan, producer of the movie, and its director Huang Wenhai.