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Floating Life Director: Clara Law

Floating Life Director: Clara Law Chinese Diaspora Amber, Claire, Eric, Isabel, Jessi, Sibyl What are the differences? 1) Diaspora(s) (diasporic- adj.) Settled for many generations with them their own history and cultural experience

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Floating Life Director: Clara Law

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  1. Floating LifeDirector: Clara Law Chinese Diaspora Amber, Claire, Eric, Isabel, Jessi, Sibyl

  2. What are the differences? • 1) Diaspora(s) (diasporic- adj.) • Settled for many generations • with them their own history and cultural experience • new (hybrid) group and individual subjectivities emerge • concept of multiple migratory processes and diasporizations. • 2) Immigrants: Under some circumstances people could correctly be described as • immigrants - if they are in-migrants from one place to another. • 3) Emigrants: they have just left a traditional home place to live elsewhere within the same state.

  3. Why do they root in other countries? 1)Never moved but boundary changes: wars world politics decolonization collapsing empires 2)Moved out : economic private reasons cultural reasons sought safe haven

  4. History of Chinese Diaspora in Australia: • 19th century • given jobs • laborers and domestic servants • Latter part of the 1800s • gold rush • widespread famine and social unrest in China

  5. Life of these pioneers in Australia: • Extremely challenging • Victims of racism • Discrimination continued at an official level • Long-term decline in the Chinese community in Australia

  6. Population of Chinese Diasporas in Australia: • 2004, just over 11,000 Chinese settlers arrived in Australia • 10% of the total Australian population • Half a million Australians identify themselves as having Chinese ancestry.

  7. Problems faced by the newly arrived: • Career • Schooling • Accommodation • Separation from family • Friends/support system • Time distribution • A language difference

  8. More than a lifetime lease: • Hong Kong, which includes Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories • In l898, western imperialist powers scrambling to carve up Chinese territory, Britain again forced the Qing government to sign the "Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory" • This 99-year lease would expire on June 30, l997.

  9. Crisis after 1997 * Economic Downfall in August 1997. Unemployment rate had increased to 6%. 80% of the families in Hong Kong are now much poorer than before the handover. Conflicts between the public and the governments. Government officials did not consult public opinion when they made decision on the new policies. * Quality of the City There is only stress on economic achievement in the society, and none of the plans touch on the spiritual life and quality of Hong Kong. High divorce rate, family violence, young drug addicts, gambling.

  10. The White Australia Policy: Cause of this legislation • “On the gold diggings there were a number of instances of violence against Chinese prospectors - where thousands of Chinese were run off the diggings by non-Chinese. The diggers argued the Chinese used too much precious water and were taking opportunities away from Europeans.” • aim : remove immigrants and labourers from austalia ,and prevent more from arriving.

  11. The Act was born : • Australia's 'White Australia' policy. The Governor-General signed the document two days before Christmas Day 1901 • The Dictation Test was administered 805 times • 1902–03 with 46 people passing and 554 times • 1904–09 with only six people successful • 1909 no person passed the Dictation Test • People who failed were refused entry or deported. • The Act, frequently amended, remained in force until 1958.

  12. Family Tree

  13. Effects of Diaspora Concept of Flexible Citizenship • Trying to keep own customs • Feng Shui • Eating Chinese food • Learning Chinese • Assimilation • Learning English • Forgetting Chinese • Socializing with Australians

  14. Effects of Diaspora Customs dwindle -Food (oily) -Burning incense -Tomb sweeping day Belonging -Longing to go back to HK -Identity issue Asian Image -Looks -Independence -Facing racism

  15. Settings & Colors *opening scene: bright, ppl emerge H.K: brown, warm, dim light Oz: white, vague Germany: blue, winter hue *final scene: Mui Mui’s house (小女兒的家): dream world

  16. Transition: different Houses A house in HK, Oz, Germany, China, 家變, 無樹的屋, 小女兒的家 *echo the title *background: Chinese painting *calligraphy

  17. Symbols of Chinese Root • Tea --Long-jing tea --A green house for growing tea trees

  18. Tomb sweeping Day and the memorial tablet --Feeling guilty for not arranging a memorial tablet and visiting the ancestors’ graves

  19. Feng shui風水 --Yan’s belief in Feng shui --Itching

  20. A lotus pond • --A house in China • --A home in Australia

  21. A house with trees/ A house without tree Bing’s house V.S. Pa and Ma’s house

  22. bone picking --The connection between bone collecting and foetus burial

  23. Chinese New Year songs, Chinese food --Bing’s early years in Australia

  24. Ming vs. Bing:Some Gender Differences

  25. Life and Death Existence “其實我想表達的是,人存在的短暫,以及在無根的社會中如何生存.” --Clara Law • Existence: A. Placement / Displacement -- Refugee Image : 「走難」but not immigrants -- Bone-Picking: a. traditional (Chinese traditional elements in the film) b. 「連骨也要搬」: eradication from homeland c. proper placement of the bone: death but not just death (祖蔭for next generation)  image of life

  26. B. Spiritual / Physical -- Physical a. 射精: material / hedonism b. 陰莖: sensational organ (pleasure of life) * However has nothing to do with offspring continuity  brings a sense of eradication -- Spiritual a. 心痛: parents’ aging image (at heart not in brain)  the two senses are connected through the death of the baby, a result of 射精 (physical spiritual)  pleasure comes from penis is “here” (brain) not “there” (heart) -- the brother’s interpretation: through the blonde (spiritual  physical)

  27. C. Life / Death -- scene shifts from 射精 撿骨 * 射精: the extreme pleasure of life * 骨: death * 撿骨: next generation’s luck (life death life the continue of life)  next scene: the abortion and dead baby (death) -- the aging of parents  the blonde * aging parents: lifeless image (after the burial) * the blonde: lively / sex

  28. The Floating of Time -- the three ideas are developed through the counting of “time”  Time vs.. Pleasure * Pressure comes from time: the approaching of 1997 * Pleasure from the penis: three minutes three seconds

  29. Female / Male Immigrants Identity • Female: a. 冰: - Fear toward the new land: Evilized outside world  a sense of isolation - Role of a frontier/dominator (westernized image)  needs to go back to Chinese traditio b. 燕: - orphan image (no one can answers her question)  the situation of Hong Kong * Female: multiple identity (house but not a home of her family: with their husband’s family but not like male who will starts up a home of his own)

  30. Different degrees in cultural mergence, but still Chinese origin is the center. Dislocation Home Mui Mui’s wish Conclusion

  31. Conclusion: SinocentrismHK: abandoned home where male linage is impossible to carry on Aus: A house is not homeNew house: with Chinese root (children around/ ancestor/ sons) branching &leafing out“開枝散葉” and union “團圓” The uncertain future: transformed unity

  32. Thank you!

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