From China to Chinatown - the women’s perspective
No scheduled times
5.30 - 7pm / No booking required / Just drop in
In a three-way live link-up between the UK, USA and Canada, MacKinnon-Day’s short film 10 Day Rehearsal will be screened at FACT, on Saturday 19 October, at 5.30pm, and simultaneously at Jai&Jai gallery in Los Angeles and the Chinese Arts Centre in Vancouver.
Through a Skype link connecting the three countries this screening will be followed by live performances and conversations with women from the Chinese communities of these cities including The North Burnaby Retired Society in Canada.
This project evolved from a three-month residency in Shanghai in 2011, supported by Liverpool John Moores University, MacKinnon-Day made contact with a group called “Club Culture”. At their meetings middle-aged women perform dances to music whilst wearing traditional qipao dresses. Both the music and these colourful dresses represent a sharp contrast with the grey uniforms which they wore as young women at the time of the Cultural Revolution.
Following on from the Shanghai project MacKinnon-Day worked with women from Liverpool’s Chinese community at the Pagoda Arts Centre. Through interviews she explored social, historical and cultural factors pertaining to the transition from one cultural environment to another.
What had been the impact on the women who made the move? How has it affected future generations? These are some of the questions to which we may hear the answers during the follow-up discussion.
10 Day Rehearsal combines archive and contemporary footage together with the qipao dance. The work explores ideas of lost youth and innocence as well as traditional Chinese ideas of beauty, sophistication and style. It juxtaposes two distinct periods of China’s history from the perspective of women who have lived through this time.
MacKinnon-Day’s preoccupation with the relationships between people and places in her previous work has led to this examination of human displacement in time and space. What happens to individuals when their circumstances change? How can they maintain their traditions whilst integrating into their new environment? What is lost? To what extent are they, as women, empowered to express their innermost feelings about the changes they have undergone?