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Borders and Walls

Hosted by LSE Festival: New World (Dis)Orders

Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building


Dr Elena Barabantseva

Dr Elena Barabantseva

Professor Bill Callahan

Professor Bill Callahan

Xiaolu Guo

Xiaolu Guo

A screening and discussion of two short films by Elena Barabantseva, University of Manchester and Bill Callahan, LSE. A discussion will follow with Xiaolu Guo, an award-winning writer and filmmaker.

Border People (14 min, 2018) 
Elena Barabantseva, University of Manchester

How does the border enter and shape a family life? What does it mean to the people who cross the border for marriage? This film juxtaposes a personal story of Meihua, a Vietnamese Yao woman who married a Yao man in China, with the stories and ritual practices that the Yao elders pass on to the young generation amidst the Chinese state’s ambitious border development plans and ethnic revival strategies.

Great Walls: Journeys from ideology to experience (28 min, 2019)
Bill Callahan, London School of Economics and Political Science

As Trump’s Wall and the Berlin Wall show, border walls are key sites of ideology: both Cold War ideology, and anti-immigrant ideology. This film uses the Great Wall of China to consider walls as sites of experience in every life. It juxtaposes archive clips of political leaders (JFK, Trump, Merkel) and ethnographic film of ordinary people to show how even US presidents feel something when they go to the Berlin Wall or the Great Wall. The film returns to the Trump Wall and the Great Wall to probe how walls can be sites of spectacular wonder in paradoxical personal experience.

Dr Elena Barabantseva is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester.

Bill Callahan is Professor of International Relations in the Department of International Relations, LSE. 

Xiaolu Guo is a novelist and film maker. Her most recent film “5 Men and a Caravaggio” premiered at the London Film Festival (2018).

Twitter hashtags for this event: #LSEFestival #NewWorldDisorders

This event is part of the LSE Festival: New World (Dis)Orders running from Monday 25 February to Saturday 2 March 2019, with a series of events exploring how social science can tackle global problems.


A podcast of this event is available to download from Borders and Walls.

Podcasts and videos of many LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.

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This event has been certified for CPD purposes by the CPD Certification Service. Self-Assessment Record forms will be made available for delegates wishing to record further learning and knowledge enhancement for Continuing Personal and Professional Development (CPD) purposes. For delegates who wish to obtain a CPD Certificate of Attendance, it is the responsibility of delegates to register their details with a LSE steward at the end of the event and as of 1 September 2014 a certificate will be sent within 28 days of the date of the event attended by the CPD Certification Service.  If a delegate fails to register their details at the event, it will not prove possible to issue a certificate. (For queries relating to CPD Certificates of attendance after a request please phone 0208 840 4383 or email info@cpduk.co.uk).

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