BATURU FOR BEIJING + 25 (24 September – 10 December, 2020)

Sponsors: Embassy of Germany, Cultural Forum of the Embassy of Austria,  Embassy of US
Partners: China Women’s Film Festival, Cervantes Institute, Berlin Feminist Film Week, Rattapallax, A.I.R. Gallery, Nextcomic Festival, Cinéfabrique School (Lyon), the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Embassy of Sweden, Embassy of Norway, Embassy of Mexico, Embassy of Uruguay, Embassy of Colombia, Embassy of Peru, Embassy of Spain, Pace University, Total Vision, Lianbangzouma.

We express our gratitude for helping us to organize the advertising section to China Advertising Association

Baturu Cultural Festival (Beijing) is pleased to announce that this year it will unite with its sister event, China Women’s Film Festival (Hong Kong) to launch Baturu for Beijing + 25 – an international large-scale online event which will take place from September 24th to December 10th, 2020. The festival aims to celebrate women’s achievements through art and film in Asia, Europe and the Americas. Its title commemorates the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995).

We are bringing together artists, writers, comics creators, musicians, professionals from other creative fields and activists to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in all dimensions of life through a variety of artistic manifestations. The festival includes seven sections – film, advertising, comics, fine art, literature, music and high-tech – that bring together some of the brightest creative professionals and passionate women’s rights supporters.

The festival will host short films from the most progressive feminist film festival Berlin Feminist Film Week that will be shown in Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu.  The project is supported by the Embassy of Germany in Beijing and the Consulates of Germany in Chengdu and Shanghai. Together with the Cervantes Institute we will hold Spanish Language Film Festival that will bring together films by female directors from Spanish-speaking countries. These films will be held in partnership with the Embassies of Mexico, Colombia, Uruguay, and Peru. We are also happy to present a special Austrian section, supported by the Cultural Forum of the Embassy of Austria, that will feature a minimalist interview-film by Paul Poet followed by an online Q&A with the director, as well as a series of documentary films on outstanding Austrian women. Finally, we will show short films by Chinese female directors selected through a competition, online screenings of short films by students of CinéFabrique School (Lyon) and films produced as part of “Lillehammer Meets China” – a co-creative project that brings together Chinese and Norwegian film students.

The arts section will acquaint Chinese audiences with women’s art around the world with a special focus on feminist achievements of American artists. The festival will host A.I.R. Gallery, the oldest feminist gallery in the USA which played a crucial role in shaping feminist art and women’s movement in the 1960s. The online programs by A.I.R. Gallery will take the format of digital classes, workshops, and panels led by A.I.R. artists, including Susan Bee, Maxine Henryson, Aya Rodriguez-Izumi, and Aliza Shvarts, who demonstrate exceptional achievement in the arts and the highest level of artistic practice in feminist theory. Female artists from other countries will also join the festival with workshops and lectures.

The advertising section will feature lectures by prominent figures of the advertising world such as Christina Knight, a highly-acclaimed artistic director, copywriter and author of the book “Mad Women: A Herstory of Advertising,” Viktoria Saxby, “Communications & Gender Expert, the author of the book “The New Man: on boys, men and the end of the battle of the sexes,” and Masako Okamura, Executive Creative Director at Dentsu One Manila. Christina Knight will also take part in a panel on gender equality and advertising that will be held in the Embassy of Sweden in Beijing.

We are especially proud to present a digital section. It reflects the growing proximity of artistic and digital fields and sheds light on the importance of gender equality in the entertainment and high-tech professions popular among young audiences. The speakers from game companies and educational IT companies from both China and abroad will explore the gender inequality issue in the IT and game industries as well as strategies to improve gender equality and diversity in these industries through educational and employment programs.

The comics section aims to bring social issues into the world of comics through educational events for professionals and a wider audience. We are happy to host Creating Comics for Social Change Workshops held in partnership with Ram Devineni, the author of “Priya’s Shakti” comics book, and Camilla Zhang, a comic and prose writer, that will teach comic artists how to create comics that address social issues. The section will also feature workshops by Liza Donnelly, illustrator at The New Yorker, as well as talks by artists from the Nextcomic Festival.

The literature section will celebrate the power of co-creative efforts as a means of promoting women’s empowerment. We invite writers to take part in a co-creative project, where they are asked to choose an article from Universal Declaration of Human Rights and write a short story on women’s realization of the particular right. The resulting pieces will be published into a book. The first two participants of the project are Jovana Reisinger and Yinan Zhang, who, both being filmmakers and writers, are cooperating to inspire each other for a short piece on women’s rights.

The music session demonstrates this art form as a powerful tool of promoting women’s empowerment through the stories of outstanding women. Carla Canales, the world-famous mezzo-soprano, arts advocate and the creator of “Hear her Song” project, will meet with audiences online to sing songs celebrating women’s achievements.

As part of the festival we also develop interdisciplinary partnerships with academic institutions including Pace University (New York) and professors of Beloit College (Wisconsin) in order to foster exchange of ideas and cooperation between artistic and academic circles, and to engage more students in the festival.

In the COVID-19 world Baturu is fully embracing emerging possibilities and had made flexibility and openness its key feature – unlike other events programmed in advance, Baturu develops and grows as the festival unfolds over time with more and more artists and creators joining this multidimensional celebration of women through arts. The festival is expanding the ways in which the audience can engage in the creative process, functioning as an international ever-changing platform for women’s empowerment.

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