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Whisky and Writers

A boozy storytelling night in Beijing

 

The Anthill's regular event in the 10th Beijing Bookworm literary festival was an evening of drinking and storytelling called 'Whisky and Writers', where five writers read five stories, paired with five whiskies. This is the third such annual gathering, after Writers and Rum in 2014 and Scotch and Stories in 2015 (click through to listen to the audio from both). I read from my chapter in our anthology book While We're Here, and the other readers were all writers in town for the festival, with stories including Hong Kong cartoonist Larry Feign on learning Chinese, and Mexican novelist Valeria Luiselli on, erm, morning glory. It was a sold-out and drunken night – each story less articulate than the last as we got through our drinks – and now we're pleased to share the video of it for those who weren't there.

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Portrait of a Beijinger: Woman of Tai Chi (video)

 

Ed: After a long winter hibernation, the Anthill returns in time for spring. We hit a high note at the end of last year with the publication of our anthology book While We're Here, paper copies of which are now available internationally on Amazon as well as on Kindle. Now we have a fresh batch of stories lined up (and my own book is published in June). We're going to try to hit one new nonfiction or fiction narrative at the end of each week, alongside extra poetry, photography and bonuses. In the end, the Anthill is a labour of love around the edges of our other work, and there is only so much time we can put into it. But so long as there are writers with stories to share, we'll be a platform for it and keep bringing you good reads, while we're here. Do spread the love, share and submit.

We're kicking off with a bang, with this fourth and final instalment in "Portrait of a Beijinger", a short documentary series for the Anthill by Tom Fearon and Abel Blanco who find ordinary Beijingers with extraordinary stories. This video profiles Lü Yan, a tai chi master who went to martial arts academy with Jet Li. The video is on Youku for those of you shouting at your VPN during the NPC along with the rest of us, and also on Vimeo as embedded below, along with Tom’s write-up of Lü Yan's story.

 

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Portrait of a Beijinger: Raise the Red Flag (video)

A classic car enthusiast leaves the civil service in his rear-view mirror – by Tom Fearon

 

In this short documentary series, Tom Fearon and Abel Blanco profile an ordinary Beijinger with an extraordinary story. We’re proud to present the third episode in the series, along with Tom’s story of meeting its protagonist Luo Wenyou. The video is on Youku for streamers in China, and on Vimeo as embedded below. Watch the previous two episodes in the series: Call of Duty and Beneath the Makeup

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Portrait of a Beijinger: Call of Duty (video)

A deli owner collects war relics in a bunker museum – by Tom Fearon

 

Each month, Tom Fearon and Abel Blanco profile an ordinary Beijinger with an extraordinary story. We’re proud to present the second episode in the series, along with Tom’s story of meeting its protagonist Yang Guoqing. The video is viewable on Youku for streamers in China, and on Vimeo as embedded below

 

The town of Nankou on the outskirts of Beijing is perhaps best known for its abandoned, incomplete amusement park Wonderland, a ghostly reminder of China’s property bubble. But beyond the fake Disneyland façade is a winding mountain road to a highland, overlooking the sleepy Ming Dynasty village of Changyucheng, that provided one of the most dramatic backdrops to the Second World War.

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Portrait of a Beijinger: Beneath the Makeup (video)

A Peking Opera singer takes off his mask – by Tom Fearon

 

Ed: Portrait of a Beijinger is an original video series for the Anthill by Tom Fearon and Abel Blanco. Each month, Tom and Abel will profile an ordinary Beijinger with an extraordinary story. We’re proud to present this first episode in the series, along with Tom’s description of meeting its protagonist Liu Xinran. The video is viewable on Youku for streamers in China, and on Vimeo as embedded below

The Anthill has just relaunched with a new design, and we have some great content lined up. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or sign up for our weekly email digest to never miss a post

 

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