Democracy Wall: Beijing Winter, Beijing Spring.

Susette Cooke

University of Sydney

As Party leaders convened in Beijing for the momentous Third Plenum of the 11th Central Committee of December 1978, a street wall several blocks away became a site for posters (dazibao) expressing views on the state of Chinese society after the end of the Cultural Revolution and the overthrow of the Gang of Four. Some aired personal grievances not yet redressed from earlier political campaigns. Others explored social and political questions, especially democracy, leading to the site’s designation as “Democracy Wall”. Activists also produced mimeographed political and literary magazines, pasted up on the wall or distributed to gathered crowds. For a few months, these activities provided an unofficial forum for expressing the aspirations and ideas of the “lost” generation who went through the Cultural Revolution, but during 1979 leading participants were convicted as counter-revolutionaries, and the wall was shut down in December. The presenter was a regular observer of events at the Democracy Wall while a student at Peking University 1978-80.


Biography:

Dr. Susette Cooke is an Honorary Associate in the Department of Chinese, School of Languages and Cultures, at the University of Sydney. Her current research focuses on society and state relations in the PRC’s northwestern region.

 

ABOUT THE ASSOCIATION

The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

Conference Managers

Please contact the team at Conference Design with any questions regarding the conference.

Photo Credits: Visit Victoria

© 2019 Conference Design Pty Ltd