Episode 14: Navigating Online & Offline: Social Activism in China


This week, we welcome Zhang Leilei to speak about Navigating Online & Offline: Social Activism in China. The media and information landscapes in China present unique challenges for social activism. Zhang Leilei is a Chinese feminist activist whose strategic campaigns have effected profound change, but not without considerable difficulty and threat to her livelihood. Leilei is the founder of Chinese group F Feminists in Guangzhou and she is the principle organiser and participator of the Chinese #Metoo movement. She conducted the offline campaign called 'Human Billboards', as well as a nationwide campaign to start mechanisms against sexual harassment in universities. She is also following up several influential cases against discrimination of women in the work place and is a facilitator of feminist awareness and training programs. While she studies Gender, Media and Culture (MA) at Goldsmiths University, she is the coordinator of VaChina feminist group in London.

Listen on Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2YKEpBY


Discover the group VaChina on their Facebook page: @VaChina

Zhang Leilei took part in a wanel (women’s panel) hosted by NüVoices at SOAS in April. Watch the conversation and read more about it on the NüVoices website under the article WATCH: Over 80 attend NüVoices London launch wanel “Being feminist in China: Gender issues across generations”.

And discover more about NüVoices, the international editorial collective gathering veteran and emerging writers, journalists, translators and artists to celebrate and support the diverse creative work of self-identified women working on the subject of China: https://nuvoices.com

Read more about Zhang Leilei’s Human Billboard Campaign in the BBC article A 'weirdo' woman's anti-harassment mission.

The article Feminist Activist Ignores Police Advice to Leave City on Sixth Tone gives information on the backlash from the State experienced by Zhang Leilei in response to her Human Billboards campaign.

The Los Angeles Times article How China’s Feminists launched #MeToo in a country where protest is barely possible explores the urgent need for changes to how sexual abuse is perceived in China.

Read more about how feminist activism is shifting mindsets in China but also attracting backlash in the Foreign Policy article China’s #MeToo Activists Have Transformed a Generation.

Amnesty International News provides information on the MeToo movement in China in the article Will China have its #MeToo Moment?

The article on The Conversation From #MeToo to #RiceBunny: how social media users are campaigning in China describes strategies by feminist activists to circumvent online censorship in China.

Another article on Sixth Tone How to Be More Than a Token Woman in Chinese Politics explores female representation in government and what the future holds for future generations.

Learn more about the Feminist Five in the Dissent article China’s Feminist Five.

Read the Guardian article China's women's movement has not only survived an intense crackdown, it's grown, which covers the Chinese State’s clampdown on the feminist movement in China.

In 2014 activist Xiao Meili started her 6-month long walk from Beijing to Guangzhou to protest against how China handled sex abuse. Read her TIME magazine feature In China, a Young Feminist Battles Sexual Violence Step by Step.