In my school days, I was given the nickname of Lao Bao (literally ‘Old Bao’) by my peers, possibly because of my relative mature look and outlook compared to many of them. I was extremely introvert back then, but books and films provided me with a safe shelter where I could feel at home. I loved reading books and watching films, lots of them, even though my choices were extremely limited in these days. Perhaps as a result, I became extremely short-sighted, and my glass prescriptions increased year by year. My classmates often wanted to try my glasses on, curious to find out what the world might look like through these thick lenses. I had a little secret: the glasses I wear are unusual: they help me see things in a different way; everything I see is filtered through a queer lens — that is, my own sexuality and my understanding of queer theory.
Lao Bao’s Queer Lens is a column dedicated to the study and discussion of queer cinema. It primarily comments on different aspects of Chinese-language queer cinema, especially queer indies. It also covers other aspects of Chinese queer culture and other types of Chinese indie cinema, all from the perspective of gender and sexuality. The column consists primarily of short blog-style essays, interviews with queer artists and filmmakers, film reviews, and book reviews. I also use this column to document a brief history and trace the development of Chinese queer cinema, and at the same time reflect critically on people, societies, and intimacies from the prism of queer cinema. You are welcome to put on my magical glasses; enjoy the experience!
Please see Bao Hongwei’s Critic’s Collection.
‘Creating an Experimental Space for Queer People in the Global South’: An Interview about the African Queer University Programme Cinema
The following interview about the African Queer University Video Capacity Building Training Programme (African Queer University Programme for short) (2017-2019) was conducted in August and September 2020 between Hongwei Bao and Xiaogang Wei, founder of Queer University.
Discussing the locality, globality and post-coloniality of Chinese queer images is of great practical significance. These are the discourse environment and power relations faced by the current situation and development of Chinese independent films.