Cogs and Wheels: The material culture of revolutionary China

March 28, 2008

South African lessons for Chinese museums?

Filed under: China, Cultural Revolution, Exhibitions, Museums — Tags: , — amyjaneb @ 11:20 am

From Danwei:

2008 is the tenth anniversary of the commencement of diplomatic relations between South Africa and the People’s Republic of China. As part of its activities to celebrate the occasion, the South African government has invited actress, director and blogger Xu Jinglei to visit. Xu is planning to produce a book and documentary about the trip.

The correspondent, Maya Alexandri wonders what the Chinese delegation made of the Apartheid Museum, in relation to the current lack of a similar public response to the Cultural Revolution in China.  Although she suggests an implicit admiration for the museum amongst the Chinese visitors, sadly, she doesn’t elaborate – perhaps that line of questioning would have been deemed inappropriate on an official visit?

March 27, 2008

Lost in Translation

Filed under: China, Propaganda, Tibet — amyjaneb @ 11:08 am

There’s a really interesting little article by Channel 4 News’ Beijing Correspondent Lindsey Hilsum on their website (thanks to Danwei for the heads-up), in which she examines the use of Cultural Revolution-esque terminology and language by the Chinese authorities when discussing the ‘Tibet issue’.  While this is nothing new, of course, for example the Chinese propaganda machine continued to churn out hyper-propagandist posters for use in China long after restrictions on art and design in China had been relaxed, it’s thought-provoking all the same. 

It’s time I got serious…

Filed under: My research, Writing — amyjaneb @ 10:57 am

…with this PhD thing.  My recent lack of activity has been deplorable.  My anticipated end-date of September is quickly slipping from view.  So, I have made a few resolutions in an attempt to kick-start my brain:

1.  I will be at my desk and ready to work at 10am each weekday morning (I’ve already failed miserably!)

2.  Each morning will start with a 20min ‘free-writing’ exercise (this is it!)

3.  I will achieve at least three things from my ‘to do’ list each day, with a minimum of two being from the ‘pressing/high priority’ list, as opposed to the ‘low priority/ongoing’ list).

4.  I will work a minimum of four hours a day exclusively on PhD stuff (reading, writing, researching), finishing by 6pm each day.

To keep myself on the straight and narrow I have instigated a treat system.  For each day I achieve resolutions 2-4, I will put a £1 aside to spend in Primark.  😉

Will it work?  Only time will tell.

March 16, 2008

Sometimes I feel like such a hypocrite

Filed under: China, Protest, Tibet, Web resources — amyjaneb @ 12:48 pm

I’m feeling really torn; between my love of China (my obsession, in fact) and distress at what is happening in Tibet.  Similarly, I cannot wait for the Olympics in Beijing, and yet I am uneasy about my resultant lack of interest in supporting the boycott of the Games over Darfur and Tibet.  Thus, I felt it was wrong for me not to recognise here the ‘cultural genocide’* taking place under the aegis of the Chinese authorities, even though it is decidedly off-topic.  ‘Though, having said that, contemporary Chinese activities in Tibet are likely to have a big impact on the image of China in the West, especially given the current attention focused on Chinese heritage and culture.  Though only if the media gives it full and due attention (something that appears a little lacking at present, IMHO).

Anyway, Jeremiah and the Peking Duck community are doing a valiant job at keeping readers informed and updated about the situation in Tibet.

In other news, my total lack of posts in recent weeks is mainly due to the fact that I am now well into the writing-up process.  And it’s sapping most of my time and energy (as it should!). 

*The Dalai Lama’s words, not mine – ‘though I am inclined to agree.

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