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What do public spaces say about a country and a nation? How do official messages, historical cultural references, government propaganda, and grassroots graffiti or murals coexist on public walls? Professor Gerda Wieland from the University of Westminster will talk about art displayed in public places in contemporary China and the picture of the country and culture that emerges from the interplay between the different kinds of messages and artistic expression.

The lecture will be delivered in English. Free admission.

October 21
14:00-16:00
Warsaw

Running and Reading the City: Chinese Urban Walls and their Stories

Public walls with their diverse artistic displays provide unique insights into the Chinese mega-city. In this lecture, Gerda Wielander will present findings from her visual ethnographic research conducted while “running and reading the city”, documenting and analysing the use of public walls as analogue medium of communication in the digital age. The talk will introduce different “wall-stories” ranging from finely curated culture walls and eye-catching state sponsored art around construction sites, to graffiti in areas set for demolition, and silenced walls telling stories of censorship and defiance. Through these stories, a colourful picture will emerge of the dynamic interplay between the worlds of art, business, propaganda, and resistance in contemporary China.

Marsh

 

 

Speaker

Gerda Wielander – Professor of Chinese Studies and Associate Head of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Westminster, London. Her work focuses on the link between the spiritual and the political in contemporary China. She has published widely on contemporary Chinese Christianity, and her recent book (together with Derek Hird) entitled Chinese Discourses on Happiness (Hong Kong University Press) has garnered wide media interest. She is currently working on several projects, including the use of spiritual language in Chinese political discourse, urban “culture walls”, and is planning a monograph on China’s “happy society”.

 

Thanks to Professor Gerda Wieland from the University of Westminster we have a rare opportunity to get a glimpse of contemporary China through the lens of various types of art displayed in public spaces. The lecture might be of interest not only to students of Asian studies or cultural studies but also to art and design students as well as sociologists and political scientist.

Marcin Jacoby, Associate Professor, Asian Studies, Rector's Representative for International Relations

Photo source: iStock/suiwuya

Date and Location

Monday, October 21, 2019, at 14.00-16:00, room S104
SWPS University
Chodakowska 19/31, 03-915, Warszawa, Poland

Organizer

International Office, SWPS University
Contact: Anna Posmykiewicz
E-mail: aposmykiewicz@swps.edu.pl

 

 

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