Spring switches us from latent to active, and spring being the season of festivals in Beijing, it's one more reason to get up and busy (and stop marathoning shows on Sohu). Beginning next Tuesday, April 8, the six-day Beijing Improv Festival returns with shows and workshops featuring greater China's finest improv crews. Knowing almost nothing about the art, I spent time with the local bilingual group Plus One during one of their weekly Sunday rehearsals to get the scoop.
Blogging China was a March 18 Bookworm Literary Festival panel discussion moderated by Anthony Tao and featuring Jeremy Goldkorn (Danwei), Alec Ash (the Anthill), Mia Li (Sinosphere), and Tao Stein (WeChat: 石涛讲故事 / shitaojianggushi). In front of a full house, we talked about the characteristics of bloggers (journalists without credentials? writers without agents? mavens without business plans?), the purpose of blogs, particularly in relation with traditional media, censorship, curation / aggregation, Sina Weibo, and whether WeChat is the future of blogging -- among many other topics.
This is it: your final reminder that I'll be joined by three docents and five poets tonight at the Bookworm to celebrate poetry in Beijing. The event will feature Peter Behr, Stephen Nashef, Edward Ragg, Emily Stranger, and Yuan Yang (and Gower Campbell) reading selected works, as curated by Canaan Morse, Eleanor Goodman, and Helen Wing. (The curators and I will present a little something as well.) The festivities begin at 8 pm. Tickets are available at the door.
Last month we made an open call for poets to participate in a curated community event at the Bookworm Literary Festival, and the response was exceptional. Please consider this our official thank you to all who answered. The curators of Poetry Night in Beijing -- Canaan Morse, Helen Wing and Eleanor Goodman -- read nearly 200 poems before finally (painstakingly) choosing five writers whose works resonated with them in style and substance.
Those who live and work around Chaoyangmen in Beijing have noticed a recent addition to the neighborhood. Above the Burger King at U-Town Mall, a huge purple banner has been erected that reads, in Chinese, "Time Since Losing Contact," a reference to the number of hours that have passed since the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
"Festival Fever," declares the cover of relentlessly upbeat Time Out Beijing. Coming at the end of what might just be China’s worst week in recent history – starting with a massacre in Kunming and ending with 230 people, including 140 Chinese, seemingly disappearing into the Twilight Zone – it’s hard to share their enthusiasm.
Some breaking news here (in that it happened three days ago and we’ve only just learned about it): a foreign man has been hospitalized and another injured following a stabbing around Sanlitun Bar Street in the early morning of Tuesday, February 25. Information is scant.
The news was first posted at 4:32 am by a man claiming to be an employee of the Village edition of Starbucks, and he sounded pretty shaken up about it.
Stephy Chung of Crane.tv and Em Jaay bring us this wonderful music video of Beijingers dancing through the record smog the city saw this last week. Check out cameos from Heyrobics guy, Comedy Club China’s Toby Jarman, and many more!
We're rapidly approaching the March 1 submission deadline for those interested in reading at Poetry Night in Beijing, a curated community event on March 16 that's part of the Bookworm Literary Festival. If you're wondering whether you should submit, please heed the advice of Eleanor Goodman, one of our curators: "Submit! There’s nothing lonelier than a poem sitting unread on a laptop or in a notebook."
Starting from the age of 10, Jiangnan Yiling, editor-in-chief of Size Outdoor magazine, traveled with his father to snowy mountains, harsh deserts, Buddhist shrines, and the Tibetan steppe. Last month, he spoke at UCCA about his travels and the inspiration for his charity projects.
A visit to an elementary school in Yushu, Qinghai province changed his life in 2009.
Heavy smog couldn't deter runners of the annual "naked pigs run" in Beijing's Olympic Park on Sunday. According to China Daily, more than 300 participants -- "only allowed to wear underwear" -- partook in the event. (Clearly some people wore more than underwear, but let's let that be neither here nor there.) Some wore gas masks, making for interesting photos:
The event is live! Tickets for Poetry Night in Beijing on March 16 at the Bookworm Literary Festival are officially being sold at the Bookworm. Please let this be a reminder that we are still seeking submissions for those interested in participating in the event, i.e. reading in front of an audience. Along with Pathlight, our lovely event partners, we are accepting poems until March 1. Please see here for guidelines.
Police mounted a surprise raid on Dada Bar on Wednesday at 8:30 pm, where the group “Beijing Creatives" was hosting a speaking event where, among others, a photographer, a book designer, and Beijing Cream’s Anthony Tao were giving short talks.
This morning, my wife and I set out to make a trip to the hospital. Because we were in a rush, we decided to rent a sanlunche (motorized tricycle) to take us to the nearest subway station. We hailed one on the main road outside the north gate of our community at about 8:45 am.
Our driver proceeded westbound on Chaoyang Road until reaching the McDonald’s across the north gate of Beijing International Studies University. At the intersection, she turned right onto Dingfuzhang Street and proceeded north toward Dalianpo station on Subway Line 6.
On January 28, 1986 the Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, tragically killing its heroic crew. On Tuesday, February 4th at the Ditan Park Temple Festival, a Challenger flew again.
Hope everyone had a fun and -- more importantly -- safe Chinese New Year on Thursday night. By safe we mean: you didn't break a window, did you? You didn't burn anything down? Because there was both a broken window and a HUGE-ASS FIRE at 4corners, the Gulou bar with the healthy reputation for holding uproarious and unpredictable parties.
Beijingers, if you're looking for something to do over Spring Festival that doesn't involve elbowing fathers and sons inside crowded parks, check out the Crossroads, a non-profit / NGO community center in Gulou, which is screening two independent documentaries every day from now until February 6.