China was “guest of honour” at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair, the world’s largest publishing trade event. More than a thousand officials, publishers and writers from the People’s Republic travelled to Germany.
Chinese officials called Frankfurt the “Cultural Olympics”: a showcase for its new strategy of exporting “soft power” and bringing China´s culture to the world – to complement China´s global economic and political rise.
For the rest of the world this was an unprecedented opportunity to get up close and personal with Chinese contemporary authors and their work.
But the question of censorship proved to be the elephant in the room right from outset. Officials, Frankfurt Book Fair organisers, authors and journalists did not always find common ground.
Journalists Kristin Kupfer and Zhou Wenhan as well as Michael Kahn-Ackermann of the Goethe Institute in Beijing were in the thick of things at the fair. At this panel discussion, they will talk about their experiences and publishing expert Jo Lusby will share her observations.
DATE: Friday, December 4
VENUE CONFIRMED: Sequoia cafe, beer and wine available, click here for map
ENRANCE: free to FCCC members, 50 rmb on the door to non-members
REGISTRATION: capacity is limited so priority will be given to those who register at email@example.com
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
Zhou Wenhan is a freelance author in Beijing who focuses on arts and culture. He contributes to Nanfang Zhoumo (Southern Weekend) as well as travel and art magazines. He was was with Xinjingbao (The Beijing News) until 2008.
Kristin Kupfer is a German freelance journalist based in Beijing. She has studied and lived in China for many years. Her articles appear in a wide range of publications in Europe including Profil magazine and Die Zeit online.
Jo Lusby is General Manager (China) of the Penguin Group, the international publishing comany, in Beijing since 2005. She has lived in Asia for the last 14 years. Her work with Penguin encompasses establishing local publishing partnerships and aquiring Chinese titles for international publication.
Michael Kahn-Ackermann is head of the Goethe-Institute in Beijing. He first came to China as a student in 1975. In 1988 he opened the German Goethe-Institute in Beijing — at that time was the first western cultural institute allowed in China. After stints in Moscow and Rome, he came back to Beijing in 2006 to his old posting.