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Title: Minjian film exhibition culture in contemporary China : sustainability and legitimisation
Author: Wu, Dan
ISNI:       0000 0004 6425 6400
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis focuses on China’s Minjian film exhibition culture, which arose in the 1990s and has proliferated across China throughout the 2000s, to examine in detail two main issues - its sustainability and legitimisation. Minjian film exhibition is defined as including grassroots film festivals, organisations and cineclubs, which are dedicated to showcasing Chinese independent films. The thesis aims to examine conflicts between Minjian film exhibition and the state against a backdrop of the forced closure of a number of grassroots film festivals at the hands of local governments and state intervention in grassroots level exhibition activities since 2012. Empirical data obtained through a ten month ethnographic study evidences that the sustainability and legitimisation of Minjian film exhibition culture largely rely on its interaction and negotiation with the state, society and global networks of NGOs and cultural institutions. This finding challenges the assumption that Minjian film exhibition culture is a local film exhibition culture and exists in an antagonistic relationship with the state. The networking of China’s grassroots film festivals with global networks of NGOs and cultural institutions also challenges the neoliberal structure of the international film festival circuit. This thesis is critical of accounts of the static nature of this cultural movement. In analysing the dynamic nature of this exhibition culture, this thesis draws on the concept of reterritorialization connected to Actant Rhizome Ontology, which provides a non-dichotomous approach and insights into the relational ties of Minjian film exhibition culture, the state, society and global networks. It argues that no inherent qualities and static identities can be attached to Minjian film exhibition culture as it constantly gains meanings and qualities through contact with the state, society and global networks which ensure its sustainability and legitimisation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available