David Bandurski, Research Associate for the JMSC’s China Media Project, is going on tour to Europe to promote his book, Investigative Journalism in China: Eight Cases in Chinese Watchdog Journalism, published recently by Hong Kong University Press.
Bandurski’s tour starts in Germany at the University of Heidelberg on 16 November, continues to the Paris Institute of Political Science (Sciences Po), and then takes him to France’s Rennes University on 30 November.
Bandurski will discuss the content of the book that he co-edited with Martin Hala, a sinologist who has taught at the Universities of Prague and Bratislava.
The eight studies cited in the book, all experiences of visiting fellows to the China Media Project, examine how investigative journalism flourished in China despite state censorship and other political control in the decade running up to 2003. They include accounts by Chinese reporters who have been brave enough to expose corruption and other misconduct, including foul play, in the media.
He will also talk about the work done by the China Media Project.
Alongside his lecture tour, Bandurski is also promoting the feature length film that he produced with Chinese director Zhao Dayong.
The High Life is an independent, digital film that tells the tale of the frustrated life and dreams of people in modern day urban China.
The film is called Xun Huan Zho Le in Chinese, which translates as ‘seeking happiness’. However, Bandurski didn’t want to use that as a title. “It can also mean going out, carousing, drinking, living it up, trying to make money and trying to find the high life,” he said. “Everyone in China is surrounded by billboard dreams now because of economic reform. They’re all chasing the high life, but they’re frustrated by hidden and unspoken rules. People are thwarted by the conditions in modern China. The high life is an idea that is unattainable.”
Bandurski met director and writer, Zhao Dayong, through his work at the China Media Project.
“If you look at who’s covering what in China now, one of the most exciting areas where Chinese people are expressing their own views and ideas is in independent film,” said Bandurski.
The film will play at the Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival in Germany and the Three Continents Film Festival in Nantes, France. A screening of one of his prior documentary films, Ghost Town, also directed by Zhao, will be shown at the Shadows Festival in Paris and at the University of Heidelberg.