Recording China: Documentary and Digital Cultures

Confucius InstituteAssociate Professor Paola Voci has been invited by the Confucius Institute to give a lecture on documentary and digital cultures in China. Paola Voci is Head of the department of Languages and Cultures at the University of Otago.

Chinese videomakers are using the digital medium to create many conflicting visual records of social and political realities. These records have complex interactions with mainstream and independent media. Mainstream media is often endorsed by the state and independent media is often endorsed by academia. Digital videos have provided an unprecedented opportunity to voice and share experiences of the present and past, even when the past has been officially forgotten.

Digital media has allowed contemporary debates, for example Chai Jing’s Under the Dome, and oral histories, for example Wu Wenguang’s Memory Project, to be heard, recorded and stored. However, there are difficulties with digital media. They are easy to distort, delete and recreate. Mass recording and mass ‘archives’ lead to issues of unmanageable scale, and digital media is not reliably durable, with contstantly changing forms.

Time: 1.30 – 2.30pm Friday 6 May

Venue: Psychology-Sociology 252

Free, everyone is welcome