Thursday, October 12, 6:30 – 8:00PM
Speaker: Madeleine O’Dea (Author), Alexa Olesen (Moderator)
Event Fees: Members: Free, Non-members: $10
Location: 40 Rector Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10006
The Phoenix Years tells the riveting story of China’s rise from economic ruin to global giant in the four decades since the country started opening to the world in 1978. This remarkable narrative is informed and illuminated by another one running beneath its surface – the story of the country’s emerging artistic avant-garde and the Chinese people’s ongoing struggle for freedom of expression.
By following the personal stories of nine contemporary Chinese artists, The Phoenix Years shows how China’s rise unleashed creativity, thwarted hopes and sparked tensions between the individual and the state that continue to this day. It relates the amazing years of self-discovery and hope in the 1980s, which ended in the disaster of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Following that tragedy comes the story of China’s meteoric economic rise, of the opportunities that emerged and the difficult compromises artists and others have to make to be citizens in modern China.
Journalist and foreign correspondent Madeleine O’Dea has been an eyewitness for over 30 years to the rise of China, the explosion of its contemporary art and cultural scene, and its citizens’ long struggle for free expression. Over that time she has known many of the key players, some of whom are now international art stars. Their stories tell the history of their country.
Alexa Olesen covered China for The Associated Press from 2005 to 2013 and wrote extensively about the one-child policy as well as dissidents, food safety, coal mine disasters, six-party talks on denuclearizing North Korea and many other topics. She started her AP career in Singapore in 2002 and prior to that freelanced for The New York Times, International Herald Tribune and other papers.
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