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Archive for June, 2014

Surfing For Love (LGBT screening)


June 23rd, Monday, 7:30pm (free entry) SCREENING + Q&A with the director

Queer Comrades is China’s only independent long-running LGBT webcast.  Our mission is to document Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender culture in all its aspects in order to raise public awareness.

 “Surfing For Love”

The arrival of the Internet in the 1990s opened up a new chapter for the Chinese LGBT movement.  It was the start of an era during which LGBT people really got to know each other, and brought an end to dark days of utter isolation when many queers felt they were alone in the world.  With the talk show “Surfing for Love”, Queer Comrades dives into the online dating phenomenon ruling present-day Chinese queer communities.  Featuring internet pioneers Geng Le, founder of the mobile dating app “Blued” which boasts over 3 million registered users, and Yuan Yuan, founder of a popular online group for lesbians looking for sex, the talk show takes a look at the unwritten rules of cyber loving, investigates what we are looking for on the web, and what we find…

Green Drinks lecture on food safety and environmental protection

Zhao's Farm

June 16th, Monday, 7:30 – 9:00 pm (free entry)


Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) at Anlong Village – In the Words of a Local Farmer

To reduce the impact of non-point-source rural pollution on Chengdu’s rivers, and promote sustainable rural development, Chengdu Urban Rivers Association (CURA) launched its ‘Upstream Ecological Model Village’ project in 2005, at Anlong Village. Through a closed-loop ecological system that comprises of ecological farming, biogas digesters, composting toilets, and household wastewater treatment systems, CURA sought to protect the rivers by improving the rural environment.

Ecological farming is of course a key component of the Anlong ecological system, and is operated on the Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) model. Since 2005 dozens of farming households have attempted the ecological farming component, and currently there are 9 households that have persisted with the CSA. These ecological farmers have abandoned the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, work in their fields mostly by hand, and operate weekly deliveries to send healthy, safe, and fresh produce to their ‘clients’ in Chengdu. They are also an experienced lot, having practiced ecological farming for the past 7-9 years.

On Monday, we are pleased to have invited an ecological farmer from Anlong Village, Mr. Zhao Fugui, to share his joys and challenges in the practice of CSA. We sincerely welcome all who are concerned with food safety and environmental protection to join us in this conversation, and explore together the future of the CSA model here in Chengdu!






Starfish Jewellery Bazaar

Biżuteria 3 Zdjecia

Tuesday, June 10th, 10am – 2pm

Come to The Bookworm for charity starfish jewellery bazaar organised by Blue Sheep.

Starfish Project works to restore hope to exploited women in Asia. Through your purchase of jewelry you are not only helping to provide alternative employment for exploited women, but are also helping to holistically transform the lives of the women of Starfish Project, as well as their families.

Women come to Starfish Project physically and emotionally abused and, through love and care, are transformed into confident women who are able to recognize their worth and declare their dreams. They are provided with a wide range of social, spiritual and practical opportunities.

The project began in 2006 when a group of individuals who witnessed the heartbreaking reality of women trapped in sexual exploitation felt compelled to love and serve these women. Since that time, this socially responsible jewelry business and charity has continued to expand, employing women in three cities in Asia, and also regularly contacting over 700 women still trapped in exploitation.

Profits go to support the women employed by Starfish Project. This includes food, housing, medical expenses, counseling, vocational training, and outreach programs.

All of the products are nickel and lead free, and the silver earring hooks are made of 0.925 sterling silver.

For more information please watch the video or go to their website.

Special offer: customers who spend over 500 RMB at the jewellery party will have a free pair of black mother-of-pearl earrings included in their order!  Customers who spend 700 RMB or more will receive two pairs of free earrings, and customers spending over 1000 RMB will receive two free pairs of earrings and a free bracelet.

jewelery bazaar


Charity Chamber Music Concert

pomniejszone 1

Sunday 15th June, at 4:00 – 5:30 pm

Students from Goldenotes Music and Ballet Academy will perform a Charity Chamber Music Concert at the Bookworm. The concert will showcase young musicians playing violin and cello alongside their teacher, Goldenotes Director Peipei Yuan. Come and enjoy an afternoon of classical music with free refreshments including homemade cakes.

Entry is free with donations to charity welcome. The concert will support the education of migrant workers’ children in a poor, rural area of Sichuan. Kunde Foundation is working with Jinxing Primary school near Xichang in Liangshan Prefecture, to provide quality education in a healthy environment to 470 students. The school is privately run with the help of volunteers and donations. Kunde Foundation pays fees for 50 of the poorest students and is raising money to build dormitories and a library, and improve health and hygiene with a toilet block and incinerator.

Translation Workshop (English and Chinese) with Julien Leyre

Marco Polo logo

Sunday, June 22nd, 3:00-6:00pm

(free entry BUT! limited seats, participation possible only by reserving seat with


The event will be part of the Marco Polo Festival of Digital Literature. The Marco Polo Festival of Digital Literature bring together six writers from China and Australia who have used the internet as a key element of their practice. Our goal is to better understand how the shift from print to digital has affected the way we read and write, and to build better connections and mutual awareness between writers, readers and translators in China and Australia – as well as the English speaking world more broadly.

“Melbourne’s own Marco Polo Project to take on the world”

From June 10 to June 24, a Melbourne-based organisation is taking an innovative translation concept around the world. As part of the first Australia-China Festival of Digital Literature, organized by Melbourne’s own Marco Polo Project.

Marco Polo Project is the brainchild of Julien Leyre, a recent French migrant to Australia. On first visiting the country in 2007, Julien was fascinated by the visible presence of Asia, and decided to learn Mandarin. Four years later, frustrated by the lack of fresh Chinese literature and non-fiction available for advanced students in translation or bilingual format, and inspired by his previous work as a language and translation teacher in Paris, he launched

Marco Polo Project publishes a selection of new writing from China on its website, and invites advanced learners to collaborate on their translation, in the manner of a wiki. For learners, this is a meaningful way to practice reading and translation. It also offers less advanced users a chance to access new voices from China including digital authors and independent journalists, which probably wouldn’t otherwise be translated. In addition, since 2013, Marco Polo Project has run ‘all-you-can-translate’ events in Melbourne and Nanjing that bring together native English and Mandarin speakers for collaborative ‘translation race’ events.

The Festival of Digital Literature is a logical development of Marco Polo Project: three writers from each country whose work has focused on the internet will interact through video conversations, and in panel discussions held as part of Melbourne Writers Festival in August 23-26 (Melbourne) and September 10-11 (Beijing).

The coming translation tour will be the first step in global audience engagement for the Festival. Working in partnership with China’s largest translation crowd-sourcing platform,, and with local partners Marco Polo Project will organise the collaborative translation of pieces from the Festival’s invited writers by bilingual communities in London, Leeds, Manchester, Shanghai, Nanjing, Suzhou, Chengdu, Beijing, Tianjin

The pioneering Mr Leyre is thrilled to be realizing his Marco Polo dream that is X years in the making and is anticipating a successful albeit demanding world tour.  “I can’t believe how much support we received,” Mr Leyre said, “Not only universities, schools and cultural organisations, but also just simple passionate individuals, who connected with us through the internet”.

“The cities we’ve chosen for the translation events are cultural capitals in England and China. The Festival’s other events are scheduled to be in Melbourne and Sydney in August and September, respectively” Mr Leyre said.

“Marco Polo Project’s long-term vision is to make these events and the festival a rolling series of ongoing cultural events. Our ambition is to build broader cultural exchange between China and Australia, but also position Australia as a global centre for cultural engagement with China” Mr Leyre said.

The project is directly nurtured by Melbourne’s literary influence – it is after all a UNESCO city of literature. Australia’s European heritage and geographic proximity to Asia, as well as the multicultural nature of its population, make it an ideal meeting place for literary traditions of Europe and Asia. Australia’s remote location makes our writers particularly aware of the possibilities opened by the internet to build international contacts, and become a virtual middle-ground between China, Europe, and the United States.


Event brief

Marco Polo Project

“Thimblerig’s Ark” in conversation with the author – Nate Fleming

Thimblerig's Ark Cover Art copy

Saturday, June 14th, 1pm (free entry)

Thimblerig is a little groundhog with big problems.

He’s a loner con-artist who seems to be losing his mojo; he’s harassed at every turn by the thuggish wild dogs who run the forest; he’s started having vivid nightmares of apocalyptic floods; and worst of all – he keeps hallucinating that he’s seeing unicorns when everyone knows unicorns are only the stuff of legend.

But what one animal calls problems, Thimblerig calls opportunity.  His problems inspire him to come up with the ultimate con: convincing a group of gullible animals that a world-ending flood is coming, that the fabled unicorns have told him where the only safe place will be, and that only he can lead them to safety.

And all for a reasonable price, of course.

But when the flood really does come, Thimblerig has a choice to make: either he really does save the ones who have trusted him, or he loses everything.  And he discovers that his problems have only just begun.

THIMBLERIG’S ARK is a middle grade novel inspired by the writings of Richard Adams, C.S. Lewis, the book of Genesis, and an Irish pub song about why the unicorn missed out on Noah’s Ark.


Nate Fleming loves the life of the expat, having spent the last fifteen years living in Kazakhstan and China.  In Kazakhstan, he founded the Kazakhstan English Language Theater, the first English language theater in Central Asia.   Nate is also an educator, and has taught upper Elementary and theater in some pretty far-out international situations, including QSI International School of Chengdu. He’s the proud papa of three brilliant and beautiful children, and the husband of the lovely Koolyash.  Nate is currently working on part II in the Thimblerig’s Ark saga.

Thimblerig’s Ark was conceived while Nate sat in Tommy Condon’s Irish Pub in Charleston, South Carolina, listening to the band play a song about why the unicorn missed out on Noah’s Ark.  Thimblerig’s Ark looks at how the animals all made it there in the first place, focusing on a con-artist groundhog named Thimblerig.

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