Los Angeles, CA

Witnesses of China’s Cultural Revolution to speak at online meeting hosted by Wende Museum on December 7

D.J. Eaton

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Mao Zedong launched the Cultural Revolution in 1966.Photo by(吕相友/Wikimedia Commons)

Memories of China’s Cultural Revolution will be shared by two Los Angeles-based academics during an online discussion hosted by the Wende Museum on December 7 at noon. Access to the hour-long event is free but places must be reserved.

The speakers will be Yongyi Song, who teaches history at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) where he is also a librarian, and Hong Cheng, a librarian at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Yongyi Song was born in Shanghai in 1949 and came to study in the United States in 1989. In February 2000, the Associated Press reported that Song, then a research librarian at Dickinson College, had become a citizen of the United States. The news agency noted that he had spent almost five months imprisoned in China after his arrest the previous year while doing research on the Cultural Revolution.

He received the Paul Howard Award For Courage from the American Library Association in 2005. In an announcement of the award, the association said, "The Cultural Revolution (1966-76) is a historical tragedy often regarded as 'China's Holocaust.' Song was imprisoned in China when he was 20 years old for organizing an underground reading group among his classmates opposing the Cultural Revolution."

Song spoke about the Cultural Revolution at California State University, San Bernardino on April 18, 2017. His lecture has been posted on YouTube.

Hong Cheng has been a librarian at UCLA's East Asia Library since 2005. He has also been the chief editor of Chinese Studies Abroad since 2010.

The Wende Museum also has an exhibition about the Cultural Revolution. (De)constructing Ideology: The Cultural Revolution and Beyond can be seen until March 12, 2023. The exhibition catalogue can be viewed online.

On December 11, the museum will host a screening of The White-Haired Girl, a ballet filmed in China during the Cultural Revolution. The film will be introduced by Michael Berry, professor of Asian languages and Cultures at UCLA. He will be available for questions after the screening. Fragments of the film can be found on YouTube.

The film will be presented at 5:00 p.m. after a complimentary reception in the museum’s garden at 4:00 p.m. Reservations for the free event can be made at Eventbrite.

Admission to all the museum’s exhibitions is free. The museum is open to the general public Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Free guided tours are given at 2:30 p.m. On Wednesday and Thursday, the museum gives hour-long tours to school groups that have made requests in advance. The museum is located at 10808 Culver Boulevard in Culver City.

In 2002, the Wende Museum was founded largely with artifacts collected by Justinian Jampol, historian and executive director of the museum.

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