Our final screening1 while in Australia was held at the Tenth International Women in Asia Conference at The Australian National University in the capital city of Canberra. The theme of this year’s conference was Crisis, Agency, and Change, certainly apt descriptors for the time that Qiu Jin lived at the turn of the last century. I attended a panel on Raden Kartini, Indonesia’s first feminist. Kartini lived and died around the same time as Qiu Jin. Like her Chinese counterpart, she left behind many writings (from her correspondences with European friends) in which she commented on the condition of Indonesia women. Certainly during this timeframe, there was a lot of activity in the women’s movement across the world! We had never heard about Kartini before this conference, much like non-Chinese have never heard about Qiu Jin.
The keynote speaker on Day 2 of the conference was Tufts University Professor Susan Napier. Her talk was centered on the role of sex dolls in gender studies in Japan today. She featured clips from the movie Air Doll, which we missed setting at the Film Festival in San Francisco. The primary actress from the film played the archer from the Korean film The Host which we saw not too long ago.
We enjoyed screening the film to the Women in Asia conference attendees. In addition to 2011 being the 100-year anniversary of the fall of the Qing Dynasty, it’s also the 100-year anniversary of Women’s History Month. The theme next year is Our History is Our Strength. So, we envision many more screenings of Autumn Gem in 2011, both domestically and internationally!
We’d like to thank ANU for sponsoring our screening. Conference organizer Tamara Jacka was the first person to contact us about screening Autumn Gem in Australia. From that initial email several months ago, we were able to set up and kick off our first — but not last — international tour!
Rae and I spent two and a half days in Canberra. We’ll be posting more photos from our stay in the capital city, including our visit to Parliament, but until then, enjoy the photos from the Women in Asia Conference!
Here are some photos from the Women in Asia Conference at ANU.
1 Unfortunately, what would have been our final screening in Australia at the Chinese Youth League in Sydney had to be cancelled due to an unforeseen scheduling mixup.