Contemporary China Centre

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This seminar brings together four leading figures from the worlds of Chinese activism, art and scholarship to discuss the fast-changing faces of feminism in China today. Short presentations from each speaker will be followed by a panel discussion and discussion with the audience.

Presentation topics will include:

  • art and activism in Chinese feminism
  • feminism in China in the long 20th century
  • past and future films of the Chinese gender and sexuality non-governmental organisation Pink Space
  • presences and absences in the Chinese feminist movement

Panellists:

  • Whiskey Chow, Royal College of Art
  • Harriet Evans, University of Westminster
  • Xiaopei He, Pink Space
  • Séagh Kehoe, University of Nottingham

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Watch a video from the event

About the speakers

  • Whiskey Chow is an artist based in London, who graduated from the Royal College of Art (MA Performance) in 2017.

    Coming from an activist background in China, Whiskey has been working with female masculinity, stereotypes and cultural projections of Chinese/Asian identity in her practice. Making performance, moving image and experimental soundpieces in interdisciplinary ways, Whiskey's works are context sensitive, and move between a gallery space and live art scene.

    Whiskey has been involved in feminist and LGBTQ activism in China since she was 20. She has worked closely with local queer communities in Guangzhou and contributed as actor, co-playwright and sound designer in the production of ‘For Vaginas’ Sake’ (將陰道獨白到底, the original Chinese version of The Vagina Monologues). Whiskey has also taught gender education in community theatres in south China and has participated in a number of queer cultural events, including curating China’s first LGBTQ music festival (愛人同志音樂會 Lover Comrades Concert) in Guangzhou in 2013.  
     

  • Harriet Evans is Professor Emeritus of Chinese Cultural Studies at the University of Westminster.

    She has written extensively on the politics of gender and sexuality in China, and on political posters and visual culture of the Mao era. Her main publications include 'Women and Sexuality in China: Dominant Discourses of Female Sexuality and Gender since 1949' (Polity Press, 1997), 'Picturing Power in the People’s Republic of China: Posters of the Cultural Revolution' (co-edited with Stephanie Hemelryk Donald, Rowman and Littlefield, 1999), and 'The Subject of Gender: Daughters and Mothers in Urban China' (Rowman and Littlefield, 2008).

    She is currently completing 'Beijing from Below', an oral history of everyday life in a poor neighbourhood of central Beijing, and has just hosted the final workshop of a Leverhulme Trust funded three-year research project on ‘Conflicts in Culture: Localities and Heritage in Southwest China.’ She has recently taken up a post as Visiting Professor in Anthropology at the LSE. She is Trustee of the London-based The Rights Practice and works with lawyers representing women seeking asylum in the UK.

    Harriet claims: “Feminist activism today in China is light years away from its precursors only a couple of decades ago.”  
     

  • Xiaopei He says: “Hills trained me to be a shepherd and the Himalayas turned me into a mountaineer. A government job made me an economist while the women's movement converted me into a feminist. Participating in lesbian organizing in China helped me realize that people with disabilities, HIV positive women, sex workers and lesbians married to gay men are particularly oppressed and that their voices are mostly silenced. In 2007, I co-founded ‘Pink Space’, a non-governmental organisation working with people who are marginalised due to their gender and sexuality. We use photos and films to enable people to tell their life stories, to gain power and to represent their desires and experiences.”
     
  • Séagh Kehoe is a PhD researcher at the School of Politics and International Relations, University of Nottingham. She is co-founder and editor of Women and Gender in China (WAGIC), an online project dedicated to discussing gender, sexuality, and feminism(s) in China past and present. She tweets @seaghkehoe and @halfthesky49, and blogs at seaghkehoe.com.

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