Thursday, February 26: Narrating Environmental Challenges
Film Screening at 7 pm in Burgiss Theater, Opening Night Reception to Follow (CLP)
Opening remarks by Katherine Palmer Kaup and Harry Kuoshu (Furman University)
The Other Half (YING Liang, 2006, 111 min.), with commentary by Harry Kuoshu (Furman University)
In this feature film, Xiaofen (Zeng Xiaofei) spends all day listening to everything that’s wrong with China, opening her eyes to the chaos that threatens her own life. Working as a secretary for a legal office, Xiaofen records clients detailing the sordid aspects of their lives: divorce cases, medical malpractice suits, financial corruption and old-fashioned personal revenge. Xiaofen starts to question her own relationship with her boyfriend (Deng Gang), fresh out of prison and looking to get into trouble again with his gambling habit. While Xiaofen deals with the overwhelming social malaise surrounding her, rumors spread of a disaster at the local chemical plant, threatening to poison the entire city. This brutally frank portrait of the social and environmental problems plaguing contemporary China by indie director Ying Liang has been called “a vivid angle into ordinary life in China” (David Bordwell, Film Art: An Introduction).
Friday, February 27: Resource Transitions: Food, Energy and Livelihoods
9:00 – 10:30 am, Burgiss Theater (CLP) Facilitator: Wes Dripps
Waking the Green Tiger (Gary Marcuse, 2011, 78 min.), with commentary by Darrin Magee (Hobart and William Smith)
An environmental movement takes root when a new environmental law is passed, and for the first time in China’s history, ordinary citizens have the democratic right to speak out and take part in government decisions. Activists test this new freedom and save a river. The movement they trigger has the potential to transform China. The film, seen through the eyes of activists, farmers and journalists, follows an extraordinary campaign to stop a huge dam project on the Upper Yangtze River in southwestern China. It features astonishing archival footage never seen outside China, and includes interviews with government insiders and witnesses, who recall the history of Chairman Mao’s campaigns to conquer nature in the name of progress.
11:30 am – 1:20 pm, Burgiss Theater (dessert and drinks to be provided) (CLP)
Beijing Besieged by Waste (Wang Juliang, 2011, 72 min.) with commentary by Ralph Litzinger (Duke University) and Jenny Chio (Emory University)
With a population of around 20 million and growing, Beijing’s residents produce unfathomable amounts of waste every day. Between 2008 and 2010, photographer and filmmaker Wang Jiuliang traveled to hundreds of legal and illegal landfills around the capital city to document the less considered side of China’s economic ascent. He shows the mounting piles of garbage accumulating in the shadow of China’s sparkling skyscrapers and high speed trains, and the scavengers, mostly migrant workers, who struggle to support themselves with this bleakest of occupations: garbage-picking. Wang includes observational visits with these scavengers who have made their homes and livings from these garbage heaps, wearing discarded clothing and bringing livestock to consume organic waste. The film illustrates the mentality and life cycle of consumption that accompanies China’s rise, juxtaposing degraded farmlands and rivers with rapid urbanization in the nearby city.
1:45-2:45 pm, Barnes & Noble Café (downstairs in the Trone Center)
Coffee with Filmmakers
3:00-4:30 pm, Burgiss Theater (CLP) Facilitator: Dennis Haney
Food and Sustainability in China: Documentary Shorts (Works in Progress) (Fuji Lozada, Jeff Mittelstadt, Tom DeMarzo, Antonia Giles, Xiaoyun Liu, John-Michael Murphy, Lucy Sexton, and Liz Stevens, 2014), with commentary by Fuji Lozada (Davidson College), Antonia Giles (Davidson College), and Yancey Fouché (Furman University)
In the summer of 2014 a group of Davidson College students led by Fuji Lozada and Jeff Mittelstadt went to Shanghai to explore street vendors, urban gardens, eco-farms, fish farms and other aspects of the food experience. Supported by the AsiaNetwork / Freeman Student Faculty Fellows Program, the team observed how culture, economic growth, health and food safety issues shape people’s experiences with food systems. Documentary shorts produced by the team are currently being edited and will be screened as works-in-progress at the festival, then discussed at the workshop. A trailer (https://vimeo.com/99968039) introduces the team and offers a sample of their experiences on a food and sustainability journey.
7:00 – 8:45 pm, Burgiss Theater (CLP) Facilitator: Kate Kaup
农家乐Peasant Family Happiness (Jenny Chio, 2013, 70 min.), with commentary by Jenny Chio (Emory University) and Emily T. Yeh (University of Colorado-Boulder)
Tourism in China today signifies many things. To the Chinese government, tourism is a win-win opportunity to promote rural development and modernization and to encourage urban residents to flex their disposable incomes through domestic travel. To tourists it is the epitome of middle-class leisure, proof that the country has moved beyond the hardships of the past and toward a prosperous future. And to those who live in the sites that are visited, tourism is a means to an end, a chance to earn a living by turning one’s home into a destination. 农家乐 Peasant Family Happiness depicts the everyday experience of “doing tourism” in two rural ethnic tourism villages in contemporary China: Ping’an in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Upper Jidao in Guizhou province. In these villages, residents negotiate between the day-to-day consequences of tourist arrivals and idealized projections of who they are. Questions of “authenticity” are rendered secondary to, yet not entirely subsumed by, market imperatives. Culture and identity remain important for sustaining community, but in ways that reveal just how much labor goes into creating leisure experiences. http://www2.furman.edu/studentlife/campuslife/TroneStudentCenter/Pages/TroneMovies.aspx
Saturday, February 28: Filmmaker Showcase: Native Media and Rituals (Southwest China)
9:30 am-10:30 am, Furman Hall 214 (McEachern) (CLP)
Badzu Village (Tami Blumenfield, 2014, 12 min.) Commentary by Tami Blumenfield (Furman University), Onci Archei (Moso Folk Museum), and Ruheng Duoji (Moso Folk Museum)
Archei Ma returns to her Yunnan village home from her freshman year at a university in Hunan Province. Along with her younger sister, she gives filmmaker-anthropologist Tami Blumenfield a tour of her family’s expanding footprint in the village and discusses how the village has changed in the years she has been away at school. In addition to showing the new construction and the formation of separate households out of the large matrilineal household in which the girls still live, the film touches on changing relationships through scenes of a nuclear family visit to Lugu Lake. The filmmaker is a full participant in the dialogue and appears both on and off screen, offering a close view of the deep relationships built through long-term ethnographic research.
Shielding the Mountains (Emily T. Yeh and Kunga Lama, 2010, 20 min.) Commentary by Emily T. Yeh (University of Colorado-Boulder)
Shielding the Mountains addresses poignant questions: Why have Tibetans become environmentalists? How do Tibetan conceptions of nature differ from Western ones? What is the relationship between culture and nature? The film explores these questions through a narrative that features Rinchen Samdrup, the leader of a Tibetan community environmental association in a remote area of Chamdo in the eastern Tibet Autonomous Region, and Tashi Dorje, a leading Tibetan environmentalist in China who first became interested in conservation after the death of a good friend at the hands of Tibetan antelope poachers. Viewers learn about the formation of coalitions of Chinese and Tibetan environmentalists that make Rinchen’s work possible, as well as about the religious, cultural, and personal motivations for Tibetan environmentalism, and its basis in a particular understanding of the landscape, of what “nature” is, and why it should be protected.
10:45 am – 11:45 am, Furman Hall 214 (McEachern) (CLP)
Environmental Protection Values in Daba Rituals (Onci Archei and Ruheng Duoji, 2014) Commentary by Onci Archei (Moso Folk Museum), Ruheng Duoji (Moso Folk Museum), and Tami Blumenfield (Furman University)
Na ritual specialists of mountainous southwest China (Yunnan and Sichuan Provinces) chant incantations to protect families and communities who seek their services. They do so by beseeching the ancestors and the spirits who dwell in the mountains, trees, and waterways to behave kindly and benevolently. This film demonstrates the environmental consciousness that daba ritual specialists convey through their rituals, depicting the ceremonies alongside sweeping views of the biodiverse alpine ecosystem in which Na people live. Interviews with Na individuals also provide perspectives on environmental consciousness.
Chinese Environmental Film Workshop
12:30 pm – 2:30 pm, Furman Hall (214)
During the afternoon workshop session, invited speakers will provide critical commentary related to films, and discussants will comment. Speakers will analyze and compare narrative and representational strategies used to depict environmental issues.
Festival Coordinator: Tami Blumenfield, Asian Studies (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Festival Planning Committee:
Harry Kuoshu, Asian Studies and Modern Languages & Literatures
Yancey Fouché, Associate Director, Shi Center for Sustainability
Kate Kaup, Asian Studies and Political Science
Dennis Haney, Biology
Wes Dripps, Earth & Environmental Sciences
Chinese Environmental Film Festival Participants
Tami Blumenfield, James B. Duke Assistant Professor of Asian Studies at Furman University, is an anthropologist of China and documentary film producer who earned her doctorate in Sociocultural Anthropology at the University of Washington in 2010. Blumenfield conducts fieldwork in ethnically diverse regions of southwest China on educational practices, cultural heritage politics, social change and media production. Much of her research has explored social change in Na villages located in and around tourist zones near Lugu Lake. Her book manuscript, Screening Moso: Communities of Media in Southwest China, discusses a collaboration and participatory media project with the Moso Folk Museum. Blumenfield continues to collaborate with Moso Folk Museum directors Onci Archei and Ruheng Duoji, most recently on the documentary, Some Na Ceremonies. Blumenfield is the co-editor, with Helaine Silverman, of Cultural Heritage Politics in China (Springer 2013). She has organized three film festivals; volunteered for festivals in Seattle, Portland, and Montpellier, France; and screened her own work at festivals in Portland, Haverford, and Paris, France. Blumenfield is the Chinese Environmental Film Festival and Workshop organizer. She will facilitate some festival sessions and coordinate student participation from First Year Seminar students. Blumenfield will also provide commentary on Environmental Protection Values in Daba Rituals and on her film, Badzu Village. http://www2.furman.edu/academics/asianstudies/meet-our-faculty/Pages/Tami-Blumenfield.aspx
Jenny Chio is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Emory University and co-director of the Society for Visual Anthropology Film and Media Festival. She earned her PhD in Socio-Cultural Anthropology from UC Berkeley in 2009. Her book, A Landscape of Travel: The Work of Tourism in Rural Ethnic China (University of Washington Press, 2014), explores the consequences of tourism development in two rural ethnic minority villages in China. 农家乐 Peasant Family Happiness, (2013) (Berkeley Media, LLC), the ethnographic film Chio will screen at the Chinese Environmental Film Festival and Workshop, deals with rural social transformation, ethnic identity, tourism and migration, and media practices in the People’s Republic of China. Chio is currently working on a project about amateur media production, ethnic identity, and social transformation in rural China. She is particularly interested in rural public culture and video training programs in Guizhou, Yunnan, and Qinghai. Chio researches Chinese independent documentary film and film festivals and organized a film screening program and workshop series in Sydney, Australia in 2012: “Seeing China: Documentary Films from the Yunnan Multi Culture Visual Festival (Yunfest)”. At the Chinese Environmental Film Festival, Chio will present commentary on her film, Peasant Family Happiness, and on Beijing Besieged by Waste. http://www.jennychio.com/
Weston Dripps is an associate professor and chair of the earth and environmental sciences department at Furman University. He currently teaches undergraduate courses in Environmental Science, Sustainability Science, and Hydrology in support of the university’s earth and environmental sciences and sustainability science degree programs. He is actively involved with the university’s Environmental Engaged Living program for first year students and serves as a core member of Furman’s Sustainability Planning Council. His recent research in hydrology has focused on urban impacts to local watersheds across the Upstate of South Carolina and his recent research in sustainability science on waste streams, local food systems, and sustainable living and behaviors. At the Chinese Environmental Film Festival, Dripps will facilitate the Waking the Green Tiger screening and discussion.
Yancey Fouché is Associate Director of the David E. Shi Center for Sustainability at Furman University, a center whose mission is to promote interdisciplinary research and teaching in support of sustainability on campus and in the community. She collaborates with government officials, businesses and non-profit organizations to ensure that Furman students and faculty are helping solve complex community challenges. Ms. Fouché earned a B.S. from Furman University (Biology and Asian Studies) and an M.S. from University of Michigan (Aquatic Resource Ecology and Management). She studied Mandarin at Furman and participated in the U.S. State Department Critical Languages Scholarship program. http://vimeo.com/89007220. Fouché is a member of the Chinese Environmental Film Festival organizing committee. She will present commentary on Food and Sustainability in China: Documentary Shorts, created by Davidson College students and faculty.
Antonia Giles is a junior Political Science major at Davidson College from Brooklyn, New York. Her academic interest is centered on the environmental justice. Antonia has conducted research on urban agriculture, focusing on both the racial and gendered quality of the movement. After graduation she hopes to get a PhD in Environmental Policy and continue to work on issues of the environment, social justice, and public policy. At the Chinese Environmental Film Festival, Giles will present commentary on films she created with Fuji Lozada and other Davidson students based on summer explorations in Shanghai in 2014: Food and Sustainability in China: Documentary Shorts. http://sites.davidson.edu/lozada/
Dennis Haney chairs the Biology Department at Furman University. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Florida and previously worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He is trained in the field of environmental and comparative physiology, or more specifically, the physiological responses of animals, especially fish, to environmental stressors. He is a strong advocate of undergraduate research, being a co-author on six publications and over 50 presentations at regional and national scientific conferences with Furman students. Overall, Haney has over 25 peer-reviewed publications and has helped to mentor the research of more than 200 Furman students. He has been the Chair of the Biology Department since 2010, has served in leadership roles for the Association of Southeastern Biologists, and was named the Henry Keith and Ellen Hard Townes Professor of Biology for 2001-03. At the Chinese Environmental Film Festival, Haney will facilitate the Food and Sustainability in China: Documentary Shorts screening and discussion. http://www.furman.edu/academics/biology/meet-our-faculty/Pages/Dennis-C-Haney.aspx
Katherine Palmer Kaup is James B. Duke Professor of Asian Studies and Political Science at Furman University and chaired the Asian Studies Department from 2006-2012. She has extensive experience conducting fieldwork in China, building partnerships with Chinese higher education institutions on a variety of programs both in the United States and in China, and developing public outreach activities. Kaup is the coordinator of the exploratory grant from the Luce Foundation’s Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment. Her research focuses primarily on ethnic politics in China, particularly in the Southwest and in the Xinjiang Uigher Autonomous Region. Kaup is the author of Creating the Zhuang: Ethnic Politics in China (Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2000). Kaup will present opening remarks at the Chinese Environmental Film Festival opening screening, facilitate Peasant Family Happiness, and present commentary. http://www2.furman.edu/academics/politicalscience/meet-our-faculty/Pages/Katherine-Palmer-Kaup.aspx
Harry Kuoshu is Associate Professor of Asian Studies and Modern Languages and Literature at Furman University and a specialist in Chinese film. He previously taught at Reed College in Portland, Oregon and Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. His current research focuses on post-Mao Chinese cinema. Kuoshu is the author of Celluloid China: Cinematic Encounters with Culture and Society (Southern Illinois University Press, 2002). Kuoshu is a member of the Chinese Environmental Film Festival organizing committee. He will present commentary on The Other Half. http://www2.furman.edu/academics/asianstudies/meet-our-faculty/Pages/Harry-Kuoshu.aspx
Ralph Litzinger is Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology and Women’s Studies at Duke University. He is also Faculty Director of Global Semester Abroad; Coordinator of Duke Undergraduate Initiatives in China; and Director of Duke Engage, Beijing. Litzinger holds a doctorate in socio-cultural anthropology from the University of Washington and is the author of Other Chinas: the Yao and the Politics of National Belonging (Duke University Press, 2000). He has published on Marxist nationality theory in China, on ethnic and indigenous revitalization in the post-Cold War global order, on gender and ethnic representation, and on ethnographic film, photography, and popular culture in China and elsewhere. His current research is engaged with questions of border ecologies, bio-politics, activism and advocacy in labor, education rights, and the environment. In relationship to this research, he has published key essays on the transnational and media dimensions of anti-dam protest in southwest China. Litzinger is committed to forging an anthropology of critical advocacy and activism that addresses structures of domination, exploitation, and inequality. At the Chinese Environmental Film Festival, Litzinger will present commentary on Beijing Besieged by Waste. http://culturalanthropology.duke.edu/people?Gurl=/aas/CA&Uil=rlitz&subpage=profile
Eriberto P. Lozada Jr. is a Professor of Anthropology at Davidson College and the Past President of the Society for East Asian Anthropology. He is a sociocultural anthropologist who has examined contemporary issues in Chinese society including religion and politics; food, popular culture and globalization; sports and society issues; and the cultural impact of science and technology. He received his PhD in Social Anthropology from Harvard University in 1999. More recently, in 2012, he obtained a Masters of Environmental Management degree, focusing on coastal environmental management, from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. At the Chinese Environmental Film Festival, Lozada will present commentary on films created by his students and himself: Food and Sustainability in China: Documentary Shorts. http://sites.davidson.edu/lozada/
Darrin Magee, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and director of the Asian Environmental Studies Initiative at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, is a China geographer and political ecologist with expertise in water and energy in China. He has published numerous journal articles examining large hydropower development on the Lancang (upper Mekong) and Nu (upper Salween) Rivers in Yunnan Province as situated within the “powersheds” of eastern load centers in Guangdong Province and, to a lesser extent, the Greater Mekong Subregion. Magee is currently serving as a fellow of the prestigious Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), participating in the Reinventing Fire: China project, which explores the role renewable energy will have in China’s energy policy by 2050. At the Chinese Environmental Film Festival, Magee will present commentary on Waking the Green Tiger. https://sites.google.com/site/darrinmagee/
ONCI Archei and RUHENG Duoji are co-directors of the Moso Folk Museum in Yunnan, China, which they founded in 2001. Members of the Na and Pumi ethnic groups, they purchased a video camera and began documenting Na rituals in 2004. In 2005 they began collaborating with American media anthropologist Tami Blumenfield on the Moso Media Project. This participatory film project included a digital photography and video training workshop held at the Moso Folk Museum in 2005 and the first Moso Film Festival, held at the museum in 2006. Onci Archei and Ruheng Duoji’s 2008 film, The Story of Yi Mi, was an official selection at the International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences Film Festival held in Kunming, China (2009). In 2009, Onci Archei and Xie Chunbo created the film, What Shall We Do? Change in Luoshui Village about environmental changes and tourism at Lugu Lake. The film was part of the Yunnan & Vietnam Community-Based Visual Education and Communication Project. In 2011 Onci Archei and Ruheng Duoji created a film about the incarnate Buddha from Yongning, Luosang Yishi. More recently they have begun filming outside their home communities, working with ethnic groups living in Lijiang, Qinghai, and other Tibetan regions. At the Chinese Environmental Film Festival, Onci Archei and Ruheng Duoji will present commentary on their film, Environmental Protection Values in Daba Rituals and on Badzu Village. http://www.china.org.cn/china/features/content_17842136_2.htm
Emily T. Yeh is an Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Colorado-Boulder, interested in the relationship between society and nature. She has conducted research on property rights, natural resource conflicts, environmental history, environmental policy, emerging environmentalisms, and the political economy and cultural politics of development and land use change in Tibetan regions of China. In addition, she has worked on the politics of identity in the Tibetan diaspora and is involved in interdisciplinary, collaborative projects examining vulnerability to climate change and rangeland degradation on the Tibetan Plateau. Yeh received her PhD in Geography from the University of California-Berkeley in 2003. She is the author of Taming Tibet: Landscape Transformation and the Gift of Chinese Development (Cornell University Press 2013). At the Chinese Environmental Film Festival and Workshop, Yeh will present her film, Shielding the Mountains, and present commentary on Peasant Family Happiness. http://geography.colorado.edu/people/faculty_member/yeh_emily