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The Paradox of Moving Labor: Workers in the films of Jia Zhang-ke"
Start Date: 11/8/2016Start Time: 1:00 PM
End Date: 11/8/2016End Time: 1:30 PM
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Event Description:
The Paradox of Moving Labor: Workers in the films of Jia Zhang-ke"

If the Lumière brothers', "Workers leaving the Lumière factory" (1895) marks a beginning for cinema, it is striking that Jia Zhang-ke's 24 City features the reverse of this moving image. 24 City (co-written with Zhai Yongming) begins with an establishing shot of the front of a factory as its workers sing "Welcoming the sun of the new century, we workers at Chengfa raise our voices."

In the new century, paradoxically, workers are not leaving the factory on celluloid but entering it on DV. Obviously, Jia's oeuvre is about China's transition (what has been left, what is being done, what lies before it). In this presentation, we focus on how migrant labor figures or makes transition in Jia's films. Politically obtuse and devoid of sociological standpoint, Jia's films yet reveal a moving labor at the heart of social change, however much we might deem this process "ill-fated."

Peter Hitchcock is a Professor of English at Baruch College and the Graduate Center (CUNY). He is also on the faculty of the Film Studies and Women's Studies Certificate Programs at the GC. He is Associate Director at the Center for Place, Culture and Politics at the GC. His latest book, Labor in Cultuire, should appear later this year. His next book, The World, the State, and Postcoloniality, is scheduled to appear next summer.

Location:  Rm 8-210 (VC)
Contact Information:
Name: Katheryn Lypides
Email: Katheryn.Lypides@baruch.cuny.edu
24 city
Schools/Departments:
  • English
  • Weissman School of Arts and Sciences

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