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Understanding China's views of the world | LSE Festival

Hosted by LSE Festival: Power and Politics

Wolfson Theatre, Cheng Kin Ku Building


Dr Elena Barabantseva

Professor William A. Callahan

Professor William A. Callahan

Xiaolu Guo


Dr Giulia Sciorati

Dr Giulia Sciorati

The People’s Republic of China is a major force in global power and politics, directly impacting power and politics in the UK. To gain a nuanced understanding of China’s engagement with the world, this panel will premiere two new films about how Chinese people experience the world.  

Elena Barabantseva’s British Born Chinese: Ten Years On (30min) looks at how two ethnic Chinese young men from Manchester experience British society, and William A. Callahan’s The Nose Knows (15min) traces how Chinese artists and officials have imagined foreigners in terms of their “big noses” both historically and up to the present day. 

The films challenge stereotypes by showing a multifaceted understanding of the UK and the world, exploring personal experience, foreign policy agendas, and artistic creativity through the eyes of different groups of Chinese people.  

After screening the films, a panel discussion will explore the visual power and politics of Chinese people’s engagement with the UK and the world in local, national, and global space, and consider how it impacts elections in the UK, USA, the EU, India, and Russia. 

Meet our speakers and chair

Elena Barabantseva is a research fellow and lecturer in Chinese Politics at the University of Manchester. 

William A. Callahan is Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Sensible Politics: Visualizing International Relations is the first book-length analysis of visuality, multisensory politics, and IR, and it won the Best Book Award 2022 from the International Political Sociology section of the International Studies Association. Sensible Politics was also shortlisted for the Susan Strange Best Book Award 2021 of the British International Studies Association.

Xiaolu Guo is a renowned Chinese British filmmaker and novelist. Her memoir Once Upon A Time In The East won the National Book Critics Circle Award 2017, and her latest non-fiction books are Radical and is My Battle of Hastings. She has won the Golden Leopard Award for her feature film 'She, A Chinese' at the Locarno Film Festival and her latest film is Rocks Remember. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Guo teaches film in London and Cologne.

Giulia Sciorati (@GiuliaSciorati) is an LSE Fellow in China and the Global South, in the Department of International Relations at LSE. Her research focuses on China-Central Asia relations, particularly investigating China's visual and narrative power in the region. She is interested in Chinese-financed temporary exhibitions in Central Asian museums, examining representations of shared historical memory and visualisations of contemporary China.

More about this event

This event is part of the LSE Festival: Power and Politics running from Monday 10 to Saturday 15 June 2024, with a series of events exploring how power and politics shape our world. Booking for all Festival events will open on Monday 13 May.  

The Department of International Relations (@LSEIRDept) at LSE is now in its 96th year, and is one of the oldest as well as largest IR departments in the world, with a truly international reputation. The Department is ranked 2nd in the UK and 4th in the world in the QS World University Ranking by Subject 2023 tables for Politics and International Studies.

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This event is part of the LSE Festival: Power and Politics. The event is free and open to all, but a ticket is required. The event will be in-person only. 

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