West and East: “Lost in Trans­la­tion”

To Chi­nese observers, the West rep­re­sents a threat. From a West­ern per­spec­tive, China is wor­ry­ing. How can we speak about this specif­i­cal­ly? This ques­tion was the basis of the “Lost in Trans­la­tion” con­fer­ence held in Bei­jing on 24 July 2013.

In all the aspects that are gen­er­al­ly dis­cussed, there is a lack, in par­tic­u­lar, of mutu­al under­stand­ing of polit­i­cal sys­tems and under­ly­ing social assump­tions. That is why the con­fer­ence focussed so much on expe­ri­ences, per­spec­tives and either party’s expec­ta­tions of soci­ety in a glob­alised world. The event was cre­at­ed by the artist and film­mak­er Chris­t­ian von Bor­ries. The iRights.Lab, the Goethe Insti­tute China and the Insti­tute for Advanced Stud­ies in Human­i­ties and Social Sci­ence at Tsinghua Uni­ver­si­ty were part­ners.

Top­ics dis­cussed includ­ed own­er­ship, human rights, intel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty rights and rights at work. This frame­work pro­vid­ed the basis for a clear dis­cus­sion of dif­fer­ences in Chi­nese and West­ern think­ing and allowed spe­cif­ic con­clu­sions to be drawn. Philipp Otto, Founder and Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the iRights.Lab, was invit­ed onto a panel dis­cus­sion on intel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty. Togeth­er with Shen Dong, Cen­tral Uni­ver­si­ty of Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Bei­jing and CCTV Reporter, he dis­cussed dif­fer­ences in under­stand­ing and approach­ing intel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty.

The event fin­ished with the Chi­nese pre­mière of the doc­u­men­tary HIGH TECH LOW LIFE. The film fol­lows two Chi­nese blog­gers and describes their every­day lives. Dur­ing the event, Chris­t­ian von Bor­ries also showed the first sequences from his then-unfin­ished doc­u­men­tary film “iPhone China”.