A cinema for the blind in Beijing
This week’s 1510 Digest, a weekly English summary of essays and reportage published on the Chinese website My1510.cn:
Cinema for the blind
By Sergeant Xiaoman, June 11 2012
This post describes a community initiative in the Houhai area of Beijing: In the old Shou Ming temple, the organization ‘Mind Cinema’ runs weekly cinema screenings for blind people. Every Saturday, volunteers ‘guide’ blind people through movies, not only describing the action for them, but also using models and replicas of various objects so they can experience the film through the sense of touch.
Original link: 盲人电影院
A composition graded zero marks in the Guangdong university entrance examination
by Zhang Zejia, June 10 2012
This post is an imaginary student composition, an answer to a question that was part of Guangdong’s recent university graduation examinations. The essay is proposed as something that would certainly fail if a student submitted it. The composition questions is:
Marie Curie tells a young girl, ‘No matter what era we live in we can all have a good life.’
Respond to this statement.
The imaginary student response that fails takes the form of a satirical poem describing an ideal China, without corruption, food scandals, or censorship, but where law, reason and transparency reign.
For more about the university entrance exams or gaokao , see this post on Danwei.
Original link: 广东高考零分作文
Moderate corruption and the prediction of Zhang Chunqiao
By Tu Zifang, June 12 2012
In early June, the Global Times published an editorial stating that China should tolerate a moderate amount of corruption — causing an angry reaction online. This post, in reaction to the statement, evokes the memory of Zhang Chunqiao, a member of the Gang of Four, and a prediction he made after his trial: that unless the Party can solve the problem of its own corruption, the masses will rebel, and there will be great violence.
Original link: 适度腐败和张春桥的预言
The growing vogue of ‘happy farm-life’ travel to North Korea on public funds
By Zhu Zhenqiang, June 12 2012
A team of female reporters from the People’s Daily wrote that ‘North Korean Children eat five meals a day’; this post starts starts with a reflection on the causes for this obviously fake statement, and what motivates it. It then questions the motives behind the growing number of publicly funded trips to North Korea. Unlike trips to Europe, which have come to symbolize corruption and depravity, trips to North Korea are supposedly about a return to nature and simplicity, enjoying the illusion of a ‘happy farm-life’, and therefore a symbol of purity. But, the author questions, would not the cost of these trips be better used fixing the problems of China?
Original link: 警惕朝鲜成公款“农家乐”旅游新热点
The Pendulum of history will finally freeze in the direction of democracy
By Hu Saimeng, June 13 2012
The Southern People Weekly recently published a detailed report on the Great Famine that coincided with the Great Leap Forward. This article broke the official taboo on discussing that period of Chinese history, for which it received a lot of positive comments from Internet users and the international media. This post reflects on the interactions of politics and the media when considering history.
Was the publication of that report a real move towards increased freedom of speech, or a subtle way for the current authorities to better bury Red history and the ghost of Bo Xilai? How much can the Party actually reconsider the history of its own foundation without running the risk of losing authority? And can a party that still uses violence to maintain stability ever face its own mistakes?
Original link: 历史的钟摆必将定格在“民主”的维度
’1510′ （yi wu yi shi 一五一十） is a Chinese idiom which means ‘to tell things objectively and honestly’. The 1510 site was founded by Phoenix TV journalist Rose Luqiu Luwei in 2007, and brings together essays by a range of Chinese writers.
This weekly 1510 digest is a collaboration between Danwei and The Marco Polo Project, a Melbourne-based website that crowd-sources translation of contemporary Chinese writing. All articles in this digest and a large range of other Chinese readings are accessible at Marcopoloproject.org. Some are available in English, French and Spanish translation. (You can join the project if you’d like to help with translations.)
Danwei is an affiliate of the Australian Centre on China in the World at The Australian National University. This posting is a result of one project that is part of that on-going collaboration.