The anthology is selectively translated into English. Its Chinese edition was published in occasion of the Forum.
A Report on the Preliminary Work of “Rhizome Forum”
by Song Yi (co-host)
On the Objectives of “Rhizome Forum”
by Li Peng (co-host)
II. Selected Discussions (Part 1): The Right to Equality in Education
by Xie Lifang, Meng Ke, Miao Shiming
III. Original Reference Materials (Part 1)
The Editorial Principles and Style Guide for Folk Art Textbook Publishing by “Dandelion Action”
by Xie Lifang
Observations about the Current State of Education in Ala District, Fenghuang County, Hunan
by Long Zhixian
A Case Study on the Art Education Partnership between Shawan District Elementary School and Shawan County Wanxiang Elementary School, a School for Migrant Workers’ Children in Panyu, Guangdong
by Feng Yaotang, Meng Ke
The Community Practice of Migrant Workers’ Home
by Bu Wei
The Migrant Workers’ Home Dictionary
by Sun Heng
Beijing One Heart Innovation Training Center: List of Courses in the Department of Social Enterprise
by Sun Heng
Beijing One Heart Innovation Training Center: Introduction to the Workers’ Art and Culture Courses
by Xu Duo
The Practice of “Tufeng Project” in Mountain Villages (PPT excerpt)
by Chen Zhe
“Learn Li Li and Other Folk Customs” Project Description
by He Jiugui
Inviting the Miao People from Wenshan County to Return to Their Villages Project Description
by Ma Tao, Zhou Bo
The Zhuang People Project Description
by Long Yanmeng
Weaving Project Description
by Lu Shuzhen, Li Zongli, Guli Rongmi
The Lanping County Ukulele Contest Event Description
by He Jiugui, Xiong Qimei
IV. Selected Discussions (Part 2): NGO practices, Operating Businesses, and Art-making
by Li Yijun, Liu Wenjun, Xu Zhihua, Shen Jinyang, Ma Jun
V. Original References (Part 2)
A report on the “Traditional Tibetan Cultural Heritage Preservation” project initiated by Sichuan Normal University
by Li Ya
Introducing the School of Intermedia Art at China Academy of Art and Its Practices
by Liu Jing, Tao Hanchen
An Introduction to the Documentary Hemp Weaving and Miao People
An Introduction to the Documentary The Story of Fish
An Introduction to the Documentary The Grandmother’s House away from Home
From Surveying the Art of Paper-cutting to Teaching Paper-cutting
by Lu Jie
Observations about the Museum of ‘Design for the Poor’ project
by Tao Hanchen
Project Proposal for the Museum of ‘Design for the Poor’
by Qiu Zhijie
The Top 20 Keywords of the Museum of ‘Design for the Poor’
by Studio of Total Art at the School of Intermedia Art, China Academy of Art
“Why Go to Tibet-Survey of Tibetan Subject Matter in Painting” press release
by Long March Project
The Humanizing Problem of Al Laox, a Traditional Dong Song
by Deng Minwen
Introduction to Partner Institutions
Statement: We are not doing this to be “professional.” We are doing this to preserve our heritage and the roots of our culture.
Learn Li Li and Other Folk Customs Project Application Form
Project Locations: Yunnan province, Nujiang Prefecture, Lanping county, Hexi township, Lianhe Village Committee, Pingdeng Group (Our village and Yushi village)
Name of Project Managers: He Jiugui, Xiong Qimei
Phone: 15687398527 (Yunnan) 15652499227 (Beijing)
Email: email@example.com QQ: 867894301
Total project budget: 2,590 RMB
- In an ancient ballad of us Pumi people, there is a line in Pumi dialect that goes: “Zhi ma lili guo ni shu, guo nishu.” It is the name of the twelve months, from January to December. While this ballad has been lost in many villages, there are a handful of old people in Yushichang village in Hexi township who still remember how to sing it; therefore, we must go to Yushu village to learn the ancient ballad, Lili.
- From the old people in the village, we will not only try to learn the ancient ballad, but also understand their customs, their etiquette, their stories, and their history.
Yunnan province, Nujiang prefecture, Lanping county, Hexi township, Lianhe Village Committee, Pingdeng Group. Our village, Pringdeng, is geographically defined by large areas of heathlands and privatized forests, and has the natural conditions for farming and plantation. The village also has local produce, including corn, wheat, potatoes, soybeans and more.
Lanping Bai and Pumi Autonomous County is a multi-ethnic region whose population is made up the Bai, the Pumi, the Lisu, and the Yi peoples. Lanping County is divided into 8 townships, six of which contains a Pumi population. The county has a total area of 4,325 square kilometers, and reaches 4,435 meters at its highest altitude. It has a total population of 200,000, and 9,482 of them are Pumis.
To master the ancient ballad “Zhi ma lili guo ni shu,” we must meet the following challenges:
1. Since the lyrics of the song “Guo ni shu” stand for the twelve months of the year, we must learn what to say and do in each month according to the custom.
2. Thoroughly understand the meaning of each line of lyrics.
3. Learn about the different traditions of our ethnic group in each month, from January to December.
Learn about the stories, custom, etiquette, history, and ancient ballads of our ethnic group, promote and introduce them to people of other ethnic groups, and preserve our cultural heritage.
Once fully mastered, we will invite a professional teacher upon our return to Beijing to help produce a tutorial for all group members.
Take a photo of every old person with their family, send it back to Beijing to develop, and mail the photos back so that they all have a family portrait.
Preserve all the ancient ballads that contribute to our cultural heritage and the sense of a shared identity.
It has been 28 years since I was born in this village named Pingdeng, a place I still call home. Growing up in the village, I have always enjoyed helping the elders in the village with small things such as cutting firewood and plowing, and therefore they have always enjoyed my company. As I started working for other businesses, or sometimes on my own projects, I no longer had the time to help them; however, no matter how seldom I went back to the village, they were always delighted when they saw me, and they would always teach me old ballads and tell me stories about the history and custom of the village. While busy with my own projects, I missed a lot of opportunities for learning, and as the elders who once taught me ballads, history and custom bade farewell to the world one after another, much of our cultural heritage also followed them into the grave. When all the elders pass away in a few years, we will realize we, as cultural messengers of our ethic group, no longer have anything to preserve. In the recent few years, many different versions of the ancient ballad Li Li have become lost in the village, and one of the songs that suffered this fatal loss is “Zhi ma lili guo ni shu.” In Pumi dialect, “guo ni shu” stands for the twelve months of the year. The lyrics of this ballad count from January to December, and it has a profound meaning. While lost in most villages, there remains four elders in our Yushi village in Hexi who know how to sing it. We want to travel to Yushu village to learn this ballad so that we can preserve it and pass it on to later generations.
Solutions to Potential Problems:
To learn “Li Li,” we must be prepared for the following:
- If the elderly artisans are too busy when we visit them, or if they simply refuse to teach us, we will find our own solutions! (We are prepared for the worst: visiting two other villages.)
- When we visit the home of these elderly artisans, we must help them with as much farm work as time allows so that they are more available for teaching.
- Learning “Li Li” also helps us understand folk customs.
Visit the elderly artisans’ home in the village to learn ancient ballads, history, legends, and folk customs.
Give the local elders several photographs (many of them do not have a photograph of themselves).
Print out the signed “Project Flow Sheet” and leave it in the Tufeng office.
Create several “Project Manager” cards and wear them until the project is completed.
The “Project Manager” card must contain the following info:
- “Tufeng Project Mountain Village Heritage Preservation Team”
- Project title
- Project sponsors’ names
- Project manager’s name
Create a board (or a flag) with the name of the sponsors, their birthplace, the project title, its total budget, and the dates printed on it, and hang it in the Cultural Pavilion at the Village Committee. Let the village people learn and understand!
Who Will Participate in the Realization of the Project:
Lanping Tufeng Cultural Development Committee (responsible for the realization of the entire project)
Tufeng Pumi Heritage Group member: Xiong Qimei (correspondence, photography, voice recording, and learning “Li Li”)
Lanping Tufeng Cultural Development Committee member: He Dongyang (liaison with the elderly artisans, leading the learn “Li Li” project)
Who will benefit from the project:
- The four elderly artisans teaching “Li Li” (they will be respectfully rewarded, both psychologically and materially)
- In our village: the 8 households where both elders are alive, the 14 households with one elder, and the 10 households with elders who are blind, ill, or handicapped. (We will visit these elders to show them our respect)
- For the younger generation: they will learn more about their roots and gain experience that benefits their everyday life and psychological well-being.
- For the local village committee: the project will raise their awareness about solidarity, teamwork, and the significance in preserving the folk customs, history, and ancient ballads that have been passed onto us from our ancestors and that which inform our shared identity.
The following activities, including learning “Li Li” and group visitations, must be completed within 15 days:
Day 1-5 Fieldwork in the village
Day 6 Learn “Li Li” in Yushi village
Day 7-14 Visit the home of elderly artisans for learning
Dat 15 Tidy up, write a summary report, return to home village
How to develop methods for supervising and evaluation to keep your project on the right track?
After I have completed the full project proposal, I invite all members of the Lanping Tufeng Cultural Development Committee and Tufeng Pumi Heritage Group to oversee the entire project, from learning “Li Li” and folk customs to photography, filming, and voice recording.
Final results presentation:
- After completing the project, we will hold an exhibition when we return to Beijing to present the photographs, voice recordings, videos, and research findings we have gathered throughout the trip to the village. The exhibition will also be accompanied by our writings about the experience and our summaries.
- The materials included in the final exhibition will also be stored in DVDs. The next time when we visit the village, we will bring the DVDs to the Cultural Pavilion in the village for future learning purposes.
- Create a board (or a flag) with the name of the sponsors, their birthplace, the project title, its total budget, and the dates printed on it, and hang it in the Cultural Pavilion at the Village Committee. Mail the photographs to the elders in the village. Return all used equipment. The user will be responsible for any loss or damage of equipment.
Project Budgetary Requirements:
For the 3 people learning “Li Li”: 150 RMB (50 RMB round trip x 3)
The 8 days of learning “Li Li”: 600 RMB (25 RMB per day per person x 3 x 8) (If they help the elderly artisans with farm work during the day, it helps them save up on some of the meals)
Honoraria for the elderly artisans: 800 RMB (200 RMB x 4, purchase some gifts for each of them out of courtesy to show some respect)
Honoraria for the elderly people living in the village: 640 RMB (20 RMB x 32, there are 32 households with elderly people in the village, and we will purchase a bag of 20 RMB-worth tea for each household)
An honorary board (or flag) for the sponsors: 200 RMB
Miscellaneous expenses (project manager cards, related staff passes, notebooks, post-its, printing): 200 RMB (I will be responsible for the expenses of printing photographs for the elderly people, and the living and dining expenses during the activities)
Total: 2,590 RMB
Equipment rental: a video recorder and several recordable cassettes
What contributions can the applicant make?
During the project, I will teach the young people living in the village the songs, dances, and ideas I learned in Tufeng.
By talking to and learning from the local villagers, it will raise the local young people’s awareness and interest in the dances, songs, and music of their own ethnic group. It will also allow them to better understand that, besides the government, there are many people from all walks of life, and organizations and businesses who are devoted to the preservation of our villages and our culture.
- Estimated project duration:
Once the project is launched, who will assume the role of the project manager?
The cultural office of the local village committee: managing documents, disks, and creating the sponsors board (or flag)
Lanping Tufeng Cultural Development Committee: Managing documents, disks, and more.
Tufeng Pumi Heritage Group: Responsible for inviting teachers to create a tutorial for educational and promotional purposes.
Notice: There is no invoicing service in the village, but I can provide receipts and ask for the beneficiaries’ signature.
Proposal Submission Date: June 2011
Goal of the Workers’ Art and Culture Courses:
The goal of the Worker’s Art and Culture courses is to incubate organizers and initiators of new workers’ culture to unite more workers for collective expression.
What is New Workers’ Culture?
New workers’ culture is a culture in which the new workers (contemporary communities of manual laborers) assume the role of subjects, where they perceive and reflect on the world from the perspective of the working class. It is a culture that encourages the workers to seek their way of expressions, critique the reality, and look for hope from the horizon of their own aesthetics and experiences.
Workers’ Art and Culture Courses Design:
The workers’ art and culture courses currently being taught at One Heart can be divided into two categories: folk music and popular drama.
A. The courses on folk music follow a participatory approach. They first invite students to write songs based on their own life experiences and observations about the society, and then instruct them to master different creative methods. The course content involves:
- Sharing stories about the development and growth of the New Workers’ Art League as a way of encouraging students to acknowledge their worker identity and the value of their labor, and to be confident of their aesthetics.
- Teaching students to sing songs composed by the Workers’ Art League as a way of introducing them to music theory.
- Writing songs with students in ways such as: A. inviting them to rewrite lyrics for a hometown ballad or a nursery rhyme based on their life today; B. inviting them to recompose a hometown ballad or a nursery rhyme; C. playing a participatory game that invites the students into a rhythm exercise. The teacher will guide students to improvise a song by humming to a chord progression, and record their singing with a recording pen. Then he will ask students to arrange the recorded sounds into songs. D. Discussing an event or a topic with students, and encouraging everyone to write the lyrics and make decisions about the composition together. The teacher will ask a few students to hum the lyrics together, and then draft several different versions. After another round of discussion, the final version will be confirmed.
- Asking the students to study and summarize the different methods for organizing participants to work in groups and the skills necessary for an organizer; setting up acting classes to let the students train their skills and improve.
B. The courses on popular drama also share the same participatory approach. They invite the students to experiment with various theatrical expressions, then train them to master these methods and improve upon their organizational skills. The course content includes:
- Sharing stories about the history of the Yan’an Literary and Art circle in the 1930s and 40s, and the history of East Asian popular drama in the 80s and 90s, to give the students psychological and intellectual motivation for creative expressions and confidence.
- Playing progressively evolving and participatory games that liberate the students’ body and mind and encouraging them to think and express through theater play. The methods frequently employed include: sculpting, making installations, poetry recitation, singing, improvisation, collective short play rehearsal, and more.
- Asking the students to study and summarize the different methods for organizing participants to practice theater together and the skills necessary for an organizer; setting up acting classes to let the students train their skills and improve.
We are not doing this to be “professional.” Only when professionals help us can it be called “professional”!
Project Name: The Pumi Village Folk Study Project group application form
Yunnan province, Nujiang prefecture, Lanping county, Hexi township, Yushichang village
Yunnan province, Nujiang prefecture, Lanping county, Hexi township, Sanjie village
Yunnan province, Nujiang prefecture, Lanping county, Tongdian town, Shangshuifeng
Due to the constant development of society, the progress of our times and the advancement of the economy, humanity has rapidly entered a mode of life defined by trends. We have begun to enjoy material life and receive mainstream education. However, when everyone now spends their days keeping up with the times, who still wants to enjoy a spiritual life? People seem to have forgotten the land that nurtured them. They forget how they used to walk those small village roads in their childhood, and hear those moving songs the elderly would sing in their minority dialects. They forget those woven linen book bags they would toss around. Young people today in particular have been vulgarized by the impacts of the market economy wave. They long for Western blue jeans as they let the ethnic identity that underpins them fade from memory. This ethnic culture has a history, it has legends, it has stories, it has a unique language and even unique writing. Today, as members of this great ethnicity, we Pumi men and women want to do something for our ethnic culture that is being diluted. The most precious thing we have is in the villages; therefore, we must begin in the villages.
Our hometown is in Sanjie village in Hexi township, Lanping county, Nujiang prefecture, Yunnan province. My village is quite rich in mineral resources. It’s an open place, and it has attracted many outsiders, businessmen and workers. Due to a long period of exchange and living with these outside businessmen, we have also been influenced by many of the surrounding ethnic minorities (the Lisu, Bai, Lama, and Yi peoples, for example). The ancient history, culture, and folk arts of the village are not often preserved, which is due in large part to the backwards thinking of us young people. As group after group of elderly artisans pass away, those ancient melodies and legends are lost with them. Fortunately, there are still some elderly artisans who get together in their spare time to discuss these histories and folk customs.
Yushichang village (located in Hexi township, Lanping county, Nujiang prefecture, Yunnan province) is an ancient Pumi village nestled deep in the forests. The village abuts both mountains and waters. It has an ancient, towering tree that the ancestors have revered for generations and a renowned, pristine forest. It has also preserved folk weaving, dance, and ancient religious rites better than other Pumi villages, which have let these traditions fade. Therefore, we hope to go to Yushichang village to study the ancient Pumi folk art of weaving.
During the study period, we hope to do the following:
- Film as we learn, capturing every step of our traditional folk weaving.
- Not only learn how to weave and play the flute, but also promote these traditional folk arts to the outside world (linen shoes, for example).
If possible, we hope to do the following:
- Organize the materials we filmed onto a CD accompanied by English and Chinese subtitles. This way, the precious Pumi language can be disseminated to the outside world.
- If we can produce this CD, we can bring it to the village on our next trip there and screen it for the villagers. Not only will this raise the spirits of the older generation, but also encourage young people to learn these storied traditions that are facing extinction.
Solutions to Potential Problems:
If we presumptuously go and try to study from these elderly artisans, they may think that they are to some extent selling out their own ethnic culture. Therefore:
- We will first visit them to discuss everything in advance. We will be clear about the meaning of what we are doing.
- We will bring some previous materials to show these elderly artisans, letting them understand our reasoning. They will naturally be willing to teach us.
Who will participate in the realization of the project:
- Group Members: Lu Shuzhen, Li Zongli, Rongmi
- The Lanping Folk Association
Who will benefit from this project:
- The elderly artisans that teach us (Rongmi’s mother). Out of our respect for these artisans, we will give them an honorarium for their time and effort.
- The group members: Young Lu, Zongli, and Rongmi. Not only will they learn weaving and flute, they will also gain a new skill at the same time.
- Local youths, sparking their passion for learning.
Specific Activities (10-day Schedule)
Days 1-3: Learn how to split wool
Day 4: Go to Yushichang and study weaving from Rongmi’s mother
Day 5: While learning, begin to understand weaving techniques and their origins
Days 6-18: Study weaving
- Return to Beijing and share what we filmed in the villages with our partners. Invite our sponsors and report the results to them.
- Give some of the items we made to our sponsors as gifts, such as woven aprons.
Project Budgetary Requirements:
Honoraria for the elderly weaving artisans: 200 RMB
Living expenses for the three of us: 200 RMB
Photography for the complete weaving process: Three elderly artists, 450 RMB (150 RMB x 3)
Group living expenses: 150 RMB
Total: 1,000 RMB