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China Talks: Ou Ning
September 10, 2014 - 13:15-15:00
A talk about urban and rural relations and processes in China by Ou Ning, Chinese thinker, artist, editor, and activist.
Over the past 10 years Ou Ning has done research on urban and rural relations and processes in China. Ou Ning questions and critiques the urbanization haze flowing through most of China’s urban areas and areas on the urban fringe carrying with it extensive and serious consequences for China’s rural areas, both in terms of an atomization of rural communities, and in terms of the unequal division of political as well as economic resources between urban and rural areas.
As a consequence of his urban critique, Ou Ning decided to move to Bishan village in rural Anhui Province and to set up his own community, which he calls Bishan Commune (founded 2010). His aim is to mobilize artists, writers, architects, activists, and designers to experiment with critiques and ways out of the globalized capital’s oppressive reality, to advocate for ruralism and anarchism, and to heighten awareness of loss of farmland, the peasant’s loss of power, the degradation of traditions, and more. All of this engages actively the villagers of Bishan. The commune aspires to be able to introduce a horizontal decision making process, to develop the village community, and to be a force in the local area in the battle against capital entering the countryside.
Until recently Ou Ning was the editor of the literary bi-monthly Chuzpah! magazine concerned with topics such as revolutions, agrarian societies and much more. In 2009 he was the chief curator of the Architecture Biennial in Shenzhen entitled City Mobilization. In August 2014, Ou Ning participates in the exhibition, FORESPØRGSLER I JORD OG KUNST, at the Sønderholm Community north of Aarhus, Denmark, where he documents the process of Bishan Commune. For more information on Ou Ning and the exhibition see: www.soenderholm64.blogspot.dk.
Read Mai Corlin’s article Farming is Ugly: Reform, Friction and Bishan Commune on the InFocus blog on Asiaportal
Venue: KUA2, building 16, room 16.2.07
Organised by: Dept. of Arts and Cultural Studies and Asian Dynamics Initiative with support from the Danish Arts Foundation.