Zhang Lijia, Evangaline Zhang, James Palmer

moderated by Robert Foyle Hunwick

Saturday, March 10, 8 pm | 60 RMB - purchase link

Despite its massive population and ubiquitous “hair salons,” sex remains a largely taboo subject in China. Even writing about it can prove sensitive for some, with women, in particular, risking backlash from prudish readers and conservative authorities simply for discussing their sex lives. In this lively panel, we examine why and how writers write about sex, and discuss issues surrounding sexuality in China, from harassment to homosexuality, polyamory to prostitution. Moderated by Robert Foyle Hunwick, in conversation with Zhang Lijia, Evangaline Zhang and James Palmer. In association with SupChina.

Lijia Zhang is a factory-worker-turned writer, social commentator and public speaker. Her articles have appeared in The Guardian, The South China Morning Post, Newsweek and The New York Times. She is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Socialism Is Great!, about her rocket factory experience, and the novel Lotus, about prostitution in contemporary China. She is the recipient of a prestigious fellowship in the International Writer’s Program at the University of Iowa.

Evangeline Zhang/ 玖姑 is a feminist activist and social innovator. She founded a program called “女力:Femployee” which interviews females about their experiences of being the minority  in male-dominated industries, such as rap, comedy, racing, and gourmet cooking. Inspired by these interviews, Evangeline pursued her own goals of using stand-up comedy and rapping to promote feminism via performance. In 2017, she produced a Chinese rap MV called “Our Vagina, Ourselves”, which received 218K views on Facebook. She appeared in local English open mics regularly in Beijing as the only native Chinese female to discuss gender inequality and white supremacy.

James Palmer is the Asia editor at Foreign Policy, which he joined in the winter of 2016. He was born in Manchester, U.K., and educated at Cambridge, before moving to Korea in 2002 and then China in 2003. He won the Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize for travel writing in 2003, for his work on South Korea. He has written two books — The Bloody White Baron and Heaven Cracks, Earth Shakes — and is working on a third.

Robert Foyle Hunwick is a writer and media consultant in Beijing who has written for a wide range of publications. His forthcoming book about vice and crime in modern China will be published by I.B. Tauris.

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