Film Focus: Hooligan Sparrow at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, Manchester, 8 March 2018, from £04.00
Hooligan Sparrow (Ye Haiyan’s online name) is one of China’s most prominent women’s rights activists, best known for her passionate struggle on and offline in support of female sex workers and children facing violence and sexual abuse. Her actions have attracted extreme counter-aggression from the Chinese state authorities, most notably in 2013 when she and a group of fellow activists journeyed to Hainan Province in Southern China, to protest against a case of six elementary school girls who were sexually abused by their principal. Hooligan Sparrow by China-born, New York-based independent documentary filmmaker Nanfu Wang captures the events of 2013 in shocking detail, using undercover, guerrilla-style filming tactics to record footage. Marked as enemies of the state, the activists are placed under constant government surveillance and face interrogation, harassment, and imprisonment.
Eventually, through smuggling footage out of the country, Wang is able tell the story of the activists, and their seemingly impossible battle for human rights. On International Women’s Day 2018 and as part of Wonder Women 2018, the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) presents this special one-off screening of the documentary.
The screening relates to CFCCA’s season ‘Concepts of Gender’ and coincides with the collaborative exhibition NOW: A Dialogue on Female Chinese Contemporary Artists, 16 Feb to 29 April 2018.