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Post-exhibition discussion (March 2021)

Following on from Leeds Industrial Museum online exhibition Song of the Female Textile Workers, a Post-Exhibition Discussion was held online on 18th March 2021 and opened to the public.

The event was kicked off by a clip of Yueju Farewell Dong Brother sang by WANG Rousang, a national star performer of our project partner at Shanghai Yue Opera House.

The panel members were Mr. Chris Sharp, Keeper at Leeds Industrial Museum, Mr. Steve Ansell, Artistic Director of Stage@Leeds, Project Manager Ken Proctor, Dr. Scott Palmer, Co-Investigator of Bridging the Gaps and Dr. Haili Ma, the Principal Investigator. Debate focused on the opportunities and challenges that might be encountered when collaborating online, focusing in three areas: censorship, digital compatibility and artistic creativity.

Ken Proctor presented the intertwined histories of the textile industries in Shanghai and Yorkshire, pointing out the commonality of their transformation from machine based mass production to creative industries.

A notable participant was Richard Smith who had experience of managing textile manufacture in both West Yorkshire and Shanghai.

Steve Ansell recognized the culture of Shanghai Yueju community that emerged among the women textile workers in Shanghai as the commonalities that could bridge the communities across Leeds/Yorkshire and Shanghai/Yangzi Delta. At the same time, however, he felt that the biggest challenge in cross-border digital collaboration between China and UK is the political and social differences leading to incompatible digital platforms.

The discussion further explored how Shanghai, Leeds/Yorkshire can use textile in/tangible heritage - music, performance and mill turned creative space, to revive shared memories and connect communities in the digital age.

This was followed by a fascinating discussion among participants, notably Chris Sharp and Suzy Shepherd (Yorkshire Textiles) on the recycle of mill sites as creative space and textile craftsmanship in Leeds, with specific reference to Cap Design, which brought the discussion to a climax.

During the two-hour discussion, participants shared many valuable experiences and ideas for the project and its’ ongoing development.

(A Chinese version of this event was published as a news article jointly by Shanghai Textile Museum and Shanghai Yue Opera House at their official websites.)

伦敦时间2021年3月18日18时,《纺织女工之歌》项目成功举办了在线展后讨论会,由利兹大学项目首席研究员及项目主持人马海丽教授、利兹工业博物馆馆长 Chris Sharp 先生和利兹剧场/数字媒体平台(Stage@Leeds)艺术总监 Steve Ansell 先生共同主持。

本次讨论会是对 2月12日-2月26日期间在利兹博物馆美术馆集团官网举办的在线展览的话题延续,旨在讨论上海、利兹及约克郡在数字时代如何将传统文化与社区联系在一起,从审查制度、数字兼容性和艺术创造力三个层面出发,进一步探索疫情时代进行跨国在线创作的机遇和挑战等问题。


讨论会首先围绕上海和约克郡纺织工业共同的文化记忆展开。Steve Ansell先生对于上海纺织女工中产生的越剧社区文化表示了认同,指出了利兹与上海在这方面所存在的共性。但同时,他认为进行跨国数字合作最大的挑战是中英之间存在的客观差异,政治和社会差异导致了数字平台无法兼容的问题。

项目经理 Kenneth Proctor 介绍了上海和约克郡纺织业的历史交织发展过程,并指出二者都从大规模机器生产进行了创意转型这一共同点。这引发了参会者关于纺织工艺、工厂遗址和越剧等文化遗产的精彩讨论,将讨论会的气氛推至高潮。


(李逸飞 武纯伊)