Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Way to go Beida

I have been trying to figure out the venue for the Beijing International Gay and Lesbian Movie Festival that was to be held at Peking University. When walking on the campus I couldn't find any trace of it though. I also sent an email and gave them several phone calls. Yesterday I finally came through but then they just told me that it was already over.

Turns out that the festival had moved out of the campus on a very short notice. A deputy director of the hall is quoted in the SCMP as saying (article republished here):

What is problematic is the theme, which clashes with the current requirements of our country. We cannot afford the responsibility of hosting the festival

What's more, the content does not fit in with campus culture. The goal of our hall is to spread classic culture among students.
The festival have now updated their website and they will show the movies again from 1-7th May, free of charge, from 19.00 and 00.00. Right now they only have this info when reading the Chinese version of the website. The English is not yet updated.
电话: 010 - 64848083
Another festival that has disappeared is the Peking University International Culture Festival. I participated in this last year (pictures) and it was a great success, though the university managed to piss off a lot of people with a lot of empty promises. This year it seems like they pissed even more people off by canceling the whole thing a week before it was supposed to take place. The official reason is that it would be too close to the May holiday. My guess would be that it would be too sensitive to let Japanese promote their culture on campus right now, too sensitive to ask only Japanese students not to participate, and therefore they cancelled the whole thing wasting a lot of people's time and effort. I suggestion would be to consult with the Japanese students and see if they wanted to participate at all. If, that would have been a brave act, if not, quite understandable.

Guess letting people do things that doesn't hurt anyone else or limits someone else's freedom (like being gay) and let students promote their countries is too much for a such a backwards place as China's best university... and sadly a whole lot of other places too.

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