Ecocinemas of transnational China - Interactions

Esa Pietari Kääpä's picture
Event Dates: 
June 25, 2012


Ecocinemas of transnational China
Interactions: Studies in Communications and Cultures, 2:2, 2012
Edited by Pietari Kääpä and Tommy Gustafsson
Following the work of Sheldon Lu and Jiayan Mi, the authors of the collection Chinese Ecocinema in the Age of Environmental Challenge, Intellect Publishing’s Interactions journal has devoted a special issue to exploring ecocritical analyses of Chinese cinema that complicate the simplistic binary of the local and the global.
To operate at the intersections of ecology and the media is to delve into interdisciplinary considerations that merge the sciences and the humanities. Another form of interactivity emerges at the transnational nexus where planetary ecosystemic concerns meet the cultural and political specifics of transnational China – the focus of this special issue. But neither of these terms – transnational and China – can be taken at face value. The articles in this volume seek to address the implications of these two concepts for ecocinema: Why transnational? Why China?
China, in all its complexities, forms the basis for the rhetorical invigoration of this special issue concerning the existent paradigms of ecocinema and transnational cinema. The focus here is on the complexity of borders that exist, first, between the three Chinas (Mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong), and second, between China and the world, and the elements that flow between them. By focusing on the mediating and restricting role of borders, we address the ways the political cartography of the Chinese ecoscape both prohibits and enables ecological thinking and activity. Concerns that are central here relate to national projects that have an impact on the ecosystem (the Three Gorges Dam is addressed in many of the articles), but this also concerns the ways cultural flows and economic considerations become ecological on a global scale.
Organization of the volume
This volume explores a range of transnational connections, from those between the three Chinas and their diasporas, to those interrogating China’s role on a global stage – and the presence of the deterritorialized global in the Chinese context. The point increasingly seems to be that it is not only deterritorialized modes of industrial-economic organization and cultural flows that invade China. This is now multidirectional and increasingly multilateral as Chinese media products now not only compete for attention in the domestic marketplace, but have also started to venture into other markets with success.
As the industrial and economic circumstances of China become global, both the producers of ecocinema and its analysts must meet the demands of planetary interconnectedness . In exploring the manifestations of ecological concerns in Chinese cinemas, the four articles in this collection explore the use value of the transnational angle, while they use tools specific to the field to expand the study of ecocinema. The articles are as follows:
Ecocinemas of transnational China: introduction
Authors: Pietari Kääpä and Tommy Gustafsson
China has a natural environment, too!: Consumerist and ideological eco-imaginaries in the cinema of Feng Xiaogang
Authors: Corrado Neri
Colourful screens: Water imaginaries in documentaries from China and Taiwan
Authors: Tam Yee Lok
From My Fancy High Heels to Useless clothing: 'Interconnectedness' and eco-critical issues in transnational documentaries
Authors: Kiu-Wai Chu
The politics of viewing ecocinema in China: Reflections on audience studies and transnational ecocinema
Authors: Pietari Kääpä
REVIEW: Chinese Ecocinema in the Age of Environmental Challenge (Lu, S. and Mi, J. ed.)
Authors: Pietari Kääpä
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