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“This used to be a cherry orchard”: a video interview with Ryuji Otsuka

Ryuji Otsuka’s film Beijing Ants (2014) explores the consequences of his family’s eviction from a Beijing apartment. From the Open City Documentary Festival.

Dea Gjinovci Donato Paolo Mancini
7 July 2015

Rental prices in mainland China have been rising since 2000. And Beijing holds the record, with the cost of renting having almost trebled.

Navigating an unregulated world – where spoken agreements weigh as much as written contracts – Otsuka, his wife, and their one-year-old child set out in search of a new place to live, encountering a number of obstacles on their way.

Otsuka’s work deals with the universality of the human lived experience, especially in a pan-Asian perspective. Originally Japanese, he moved to China in 2005.

His previous film production analyses the themes of law, marriage, citizenship and belonging.

Can there be a green populist project on the Left?

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Is this an opportunity for a realignment around a green democratic transformation?

Join us for a free live discussion on Thursday 22 October, 5pm UK time/12pm EDT.

Hear from:

Paolo Gerbaudo Sociologist and political theorist, director of the Centre for Digital Culture at King’s College London and author of ‘The Mask and the Flag: Populism and Global Protest’ and ‘The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy’, and of the forthcoming ‘The Great Recoil: Politics After Populism and Pandemic’.

Chantal Mouffe Emeritus Professor of Political Theory at the University of Westminster in London. Her most recent books are ‘Agonistics. Thinking the World Politically’, ‘Podemos. In the Name of the People’ and ‘For a Left Populism’.

Spyros A. Sofos Researcher and research coordinator at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University and author of ‘Nation and Identity in Contemporary Europe’, ‘Tormented by History’ and ‘Islam in Europe: Public Spaces and Civic Networks'.

Chair: Walid el Houri Researcher, journalist and filmmaker based between Berlin and Beirut. He is partnerships editor at openDemocracy and lead editor of its North Africa, West Asia project.

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