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Digital Workshop Series "Digital Dialogues 數字對話" #12

29.03.2023 | 13:00 - 15:00

Im Rahmen der Digital Workshop Series "Digital Dialogues 數字對話" diskutieren Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler verschiedene Teilaspekte und Fragestellungen des Verbundprojekts.

Words and Worlds of Chinese migrant female worker: Book Reading and Talk with artist Jing Y.

March 29, 2023, 1.15 – 2.45 PM

The social worlds team invites you to a talk by artist Jing Y. and a reading of the newly released German edition of her project “住在亲情里的疫情 (Kindemic – Words and Worlds of Migrant Female Workers/Familie, Leben, Pandemie – Worte und Welten chinesischer Wanderarbeiterinnen)” that was recently published in collaboration with the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation.

The book is part of the artist’s project “Sweat, Stop, Rewrite!” (SSR). Starting in 2019, Jing Y. has given free workshops on writing and reading providing female migrant workers the tools that are usually inaccessible to them to reflect and articulate their complex realities. The aim is to make the experiences they are facing relatable and challenge the official narrative. After the pandemic, Jing Y. has extended the writing workshops to the medium of drawing, and other forms of art making. Through redirecting and redistributing educational and aesthetic resources, the project hopes to create "living archives'' representing the unrepresented and the compromised, empower the workers to imagine an independent alternative life through the process of “rewriting”. The publication is a selection of texts and images produced within this project during the time of the Covid-19 pandemic in China.

In 2022 the book was translated by a team of researchers into German. With the support of the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation it is now available for free, digitally and in print: https://www.boell.de/de/2022/12/28/familie-leben-pandemie

We want to use the occasion of the release to invite you into the social worlds of these female writers, discuss with Jing Y. about her project of making these voices heard, and get a first glimpse into the German publication.

The talk will be in English. The reading will be in German, but we will provide the English translation of the paragraphs for non-German-speaking participants.

About Jing Y.

Working closely with Chinese citizens who usually are not professional writers, Jing Y. founded “Writing • Mothers” project, and has since co-produced several books of their memoirs, reflections, debates, and statements. The project later gave birth to “Sweat, Stop, Rewrite” (SSR) project in which she offers free writing and drawing lessons to migrant workers, mostly females from rural China. These collaborations are process-oriented and usually take form in film, publication, or installation. The explorations embody her method of “using art and documentary approaches to create self-made citizenship” in a period of political difficulty. They provide important insights into the inner workings of a major dynamic between the Party and the people in Chinese society today: while the Party maintains power by surrendering the dream of a communist future to capitalism in the present, the people are asked to exchange socialism for a chance at becoming rich right now.

Jing Y. received a BFA from Concordia University (Montreal) in 2005 and a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2008. Since then she has exhibited and lectured frequently in various countries, under different circumstances, with and against the given framework, to exam the contradictions and disconnections within Chinese society and between China and the wider world. Apart from exhibiting at the Guangdong Times Museum, Para-site, the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, and Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, many of her other thematic projects/process can be found in various artist-run/alternative spaces in a more intangible way.

About the book:

Organized in five chapters, 11 impressive stories introduce the worlds of migrant female women, and encounters with other social worlds, through their own words and by responses from family members. In addition, the book contains, comprehensive explanations of the project by artist Jing Y., and an introduction on migration and (im)mobility in China by the editors.

Translated by: Antonie Angerer, Chang Xiaojie, Ryanne Flock, Mia Hallmanns, Lisa Heinrich, Philipp C. D. Immel, Sara Landa, Michael Malzer, Elena Meyer-Clement, Jonathan Michel, Petra Müller

Published by: Antonie Angerer, Ryanne Flock, Michael Malzer, Elena Meyer-Clement and the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung


The event will take place on zoom:https://uni-wuerzburg.zoom.us/j/68354681560?pwd=VmJucTNOYWJhdTUzQXZNL3IwNEMxUT09