forthcoming events



Chinese Literature in translation at the Free Word Centre and the South Bank Centre

Tuesday, 6th December, 6.30 pm

Translation Workshop: Chinese Poems by Yu Youyou introduced by Dave Haysom

Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, EC1R 3GA

Entry free. Tel: 0207 324 2570 email: info@freewordcentre.com

book tickets through: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/translation-workshop-chinese-poems-by-yu-youyou-introduced-by-dave-haysom-tickets-28826411573.

Born in 1990, Sichuanese poet Yu Youyou had already begun to earn critical attention before she turned sixteen, publishing dozens of poems in Poetry, Poetry Monthly and other prestigious publications in China. She studied business management and accounting in university, but never gave up on her long-standing passion for poetry and finally embraced her life’s calling upon graduation. She is now seen as a representative voice among the post-90’s generation, especially known for her mature voice and subtle treatment of modern femininity. Her collection Seven Years was published in 2012, and she currently lives in Chengdu.

Dave Haysom moved to Beijing in 2007 after graduating from Leeds University with a degree in Classical Literature and English. After first starting to translate Chinese short stories in 2012, He joined Pathlight magazine as joint managing editor in 2014, and in 2015 helped launch the Read Paper Republic project.

Monday, December 12th, 6.45 pm:

Dragonworld – Four short stories from China

Free Word Centre, Entry: £5 (concession £3)

Read Paper Republic is delighted to be partnering with Free Word for a follow-up event with a fantastical flavour:

A police officer investigating a brutal murder interrogates his chief suspect, but the details of the crime itself are constantly shifting. A woman hopes a knight in shining armour will offer her an escape from the road she seems destined to pace forever. A dispute between two witnesses to a killing results in a fatal duel. A teenage gamer must find a way to deal with the concrete-hungry dragons that are somehow taking over his town.

Acts of violence punctuate these four works of contemporary Chinese fiction, but as the stories unfold it becomes increasingly difficult to differentiate fantasy from reality, the dream from the conscious. The rhythms of genre fiction are echoed and distorted in these category-defying tales of death, desire, and despair.

Discussions will be led by Nicky Harman, Dave Haysom, Emily Jones and Helen Wang. Find out more and download the stories (by Sun Yisheng, Zhu Yue, Zhang Yueran and Zhang Xinxin) at the Free Word Centre event page.

Friday, December 16th

China Changing: day of events on China, including 2 literary sessions at the South Bank Centre at Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

Chinese Literature events: Level 5, Function Room

Entry £5 (concession £2.50): Tel: (0)20 7960 4200 or online

‘China Changing’ is a new festival that "showcases contemporary China and its creative influence and connections with the UK through cutting edge art and culture, providing a platform for artists who are innovating whilst being informed by tradition and inspired by heritage." Paper Republic will be involved in two of the public events:

7.00pm – China Fiction BookclubNicky Harman leads a discussion of the Read Paper Republic story "Gu Jieming – A Life" by Han Dong.

8.30pm – Found in Translation: Phenomenal FictionHelen Wang chairs a discussion of contemporary fiction with authors writing from mainland, diaspora, and wider Sinosphere perspectives (Yan Ge, Guo Xiaolu and Wu Ming-yi).

This is part of a whole-day event ‘China Changing’ at the South Bank Centre, see their website for details: http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/festivals-series/china-changing

Brushstrokes in Time

Dear Friends,

We are pleased to invite you to a book launch of a newly published novel, 'Brushstrokes in Time', by Sylvia Vetta on Wednesday, 23rd November, which will take place in our bookshop, Arthur Probsthain, from 6.30 to 8 pm.

The novel covers the ups and downs of the period in China's recent history from the Cultural Revolution, through the first popular movement in Tiananmen on the death of Zhou Enlai, to the late 1970s Democracy Movement and the creation of the Stars art group, the Tiananmen Uprising and beyond... The story is told through the eyes of 'Little Winter' who corresponds with her daughter and reminiscences about these dramatic political events through her own experiences.

Sylvia Vetta will be talking about her inspiration in writing this novel and discussing it with us. There will be a reception with drinks and light refreshments.

We look forward to seeing you here. Please indicate if you intend to participate by replying to the bookshop at arthurprobsthain@hotmail.com

Best wishes,


Bloomsbury Pop-up Silk Lover's Event

This December, Bloomsbury Gallery will host a three-day pop-up event in celebration of the richness of silks from the East.

From Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th December, Bloomsbury Gallery, a stone's throw away from British Museum, will be transformed into a silk lover's club with three days of boutique shopping, Chinese classic film screenings, live violin performances, silk painting workshops, and Chinese street food and cocktails, showcasing the best of oriental silk culture and the tastiest of Chinese home cooking.

Bringing back the golden age of Chinoiserie, the pop-up silk shop will feature traditional hand-embroidered silk garments with modern twists, hand-embroidered silk fabrics featuring traditional Chinese motifs.

All tickets include one soft drink.

Workshop(chargable) and film screenings (free) first come first serve.

If you have any questions, please email info@bloomsburygallery.com or call 020 7580 3164.

Please click here to make a booking.

Admiral Chan Chak’s Escape

Great Chinese Trees



This film festival includes two of the latest and award-winning Chinese art films brought to London by the Shanghai Art Film Federation. Please join us to explore:

Xiang Guoqiang's Young Love Lost, a film adaptation of a critically acclaimed contemporary Chinese novel and Xin Yukun's comedy-mystery film Deep in the Heart.

The films will be introduced by SOAS academics.


Thursday, 29 September, 5-8 pm, Rm201, Vernon Square, SOAS Introduction by Dr Xiaoning Lu (SOAS)
Young Love Lost, dir. XIANG Guoqiang, 120 min
In the latter part of the last century, Lu Xiaolu has just graduated from technical school and is currently working in a chemical factory. He hasn't a clue about what he will do in the future or how he should lead his life. Lu Xiaolu lacks skills. Moreover, he loves to play games, fight amongst his colleagues and is often found redoing poorly executed tasks. However, Lu Xiaolu is captivated by a beautiful young girl named Bai Lan, who he pursues and eventually falls in love with. Bai Lan in the end applies for graduate school and abruptly leaves for Shanghai....

Friday, 30 September 2016, 5-8pm, Rm201, Vernon Square, SOAS
Introduction by Dr How Wee Ng (SOAS)
Deep in the Heart, dir. XIN Yukun, 119 min
A burnt body is found in a village. But who was dead? Was that an accident or a murder? An engaging black comedy set in a rural Chinese village that illuminates the challenges of everyday…

Upcoming events at the Lau China Institute:

The Perfect Dictatorship - China in the 21st Century

Speaker: Stein Ringen
Date: Monday 3 October 2016
Venue: K0.31 (Small Committee Room) Strand Campus
Time: 18:00-20:00
Ringen's book The Perfect Dictatorship explains how the Chinese political system works and where it may be moving. Drawing on Chinese and international sources, on extensive collaboration with Chinese scholars, and on the political science of state analysis, Ringen concludes that the system of government has hardened under the leadership of Xi Jinping.

Film screening: China's 3Dreams

Date: Wednesday 5 October 2016
Venue: Nash Lecture Theatre (K2.31) Strand Campus
Time: 18:00-20:00
From award-winning director Nick Torrens, this absorbing documentary about the changing face of China is both intriguing and confrontational. 12 years in the making and featuring rare archive and powerful personal testimony from former Red Guards, China's 3 Dreams opens the door on the past and questions its impact on the present.

The contested role of foreign and domestic foundations in the PR China: policies, positions, paradigms, power

Speaker: Andreas Fulda
Date: Wednesday 26 October 2016
Venue: Nash Lecture Theatre (K2.31) Strand Campus
Time: 17:30-19:30
Fulda examines how foundations—foreign and domestic, public and private, operating and grant-making—are engaging with Chinese civil society organisations (CSOs) in an authoritarian political context. Based on twelve interviews that he conducted in 2014 with foundation representatives and CSO leaders, he determines how foreign and domestic foundations position themselves vis-à-vis the party-state, market, and civil society; what their understanding of philanthropy is; and how foreign and domestic philanthropic foundations deal with the power imbalance in the grant-maker–grantee relationship.

China's challenge in high technology

Speaker: Andrew Tylecote
Date: Wednesday 9 November 2016
Venue: Lucas Lecture Theatre (Room S-2.18) Strand Campus
Time: 18:30-20:00
The spectacular growth of industry in China has distracted many observers from the patchy performance of Chinese firms in high-tech sectors (and to a lesser extent medium-high). Why is China, with its rapidly strengthening science base, R&D and patent portfolio, not catching up fast in high-tech? Tylecote argue that it has fundamental weaknesses on the demand and supply sides which have not been addressed and that in at least one key area, public sector purchasing, there has been a recent retreat from a promising policy development.

The link to the Lau China Institute website for their events is: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/sga/lci/Events/Events.aspx

London East Asia Film Festival

Further details on these films from China to follow when available.

SOAS Jingju White Snake Course

Yellow River Cantata

Project New Earth

National Lottery support to commemorate the contribution of the Chinese Labour Corps to the WW1 British War Effort

We are pleased to announce that The Meridian Society has been awarded a grant of £99,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) towards a commemoration project of the contribution made to WW1 by the Chinese Labour Corps (CLC).

Chinese labourers arriving in Boulogne

The project will take place over the next couple of years and will consist of the filming of oral histories from descendants of Chinese labourers and their British commanding officers; educational workshops at primary and secondary schools and Chinese community centres around the country; a mini-exhibition of photos, documents and memorabilia to tour London, Liverpool, Plymouth and Folkestone; commemorative events at burial sites in England of CLC members who never made it to the Front; and a website containing elements of the above to serve as a virtual memorial to the CLC.

To kick off the project, we will be holding a number of training workshops in July for those interested in helping out with the project. These are as follows:


Date & Time:
2.00 - 4.00pm on Thursday 14th July 2016

Imperial War Museum
All Saints Annexe
Austral Street
London SE11 4SJ

Mariusz Gasior, Curator, Photographic Division, Imperial War Museum
Nic Vanderpeet, Formal Learning Manager, Imperial War Museum


  • Training in research, interpretation and compilation of film and photographic archive
  • Training in collection, interpretation and preservation of memorabilia

Participants are asked to take their own laptops for this session

RSVP by Monday 11th July to themeridiansociety@gmail.com

Please note: This session is limited to 15 participants only, so places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.


Date & Time:
3.30 – 4.40 pm on Saturday 16th July 2016

Camden Chinese Community Centre
9 Tavistock Place
London WC1H 9SN

Peng Wenlan, documentary film producer

Training in oral history collection for archiving and use in documentary film production

RSVP by by Friday 8th July to themeridiansociety@gmail.com

Please note: This session is limited to 25 participants only, so places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.


Date & Time:
2.00 – 4.00 pm on Thursday 28th July

Commonwealth War Graves Commission
2 Marlow Road
Berkshire SL6 7DX

2.00 pm: Address by Colin Kerr, Director of External Relations, CWGC
2.15 pm: Brief History of the CLC and the involvement of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, by CWGC historian
3.00 pm: Access to CWGC’s archives, how to conduct textual research and compile data for heritage work, by CWGC archivist

RSVP by Friday 22nd July 2016 to themeridiansociety@gmail.com

Please note: This session is limited to 30 participants only, so places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Participants can claim travel expenses up to £15 on registration at each venue (with proof of purchase using the most economic public transport).

For more details on the project, please go to: Chinese Labour Corps

Cross Culture Study

Please click Here for more information.

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