China Tonight | ABC

Jinghua in a white shirt and black pants, sitting on a high stool on a tv set with a blue background and a camera in the foreground.

I have a few bits and pieces in China Tonight, a new ABC series on China hosted by Stan Grant and Yvonne Yong. It premieres tonight Tuesday 1 June (8pm on ABC News or 10:10pm on ABC TV) or you can watch it on iview whenever you like.

The first episode features me talking about China’s population crisis, Annie Louey on  stand-up comedy, and Stan interviewing senior diplomat Wang Xining, China’s Deputy Head of Mission in Canberra.

Presenters Stan Grant and Yvonne Yong smiling in front of a blue skyline with a 'China Tonight' logo that mimics a neon street sign.

Chinatown podcast | Recess x Rising

I made a short podcast about Melbourne’s Chinatown for The Hearts of the People are Measured by the Size of the Land, an exhibition curated by Olivia Koh (Recess) for Rising.

Sadly the festival is paused while Melbourne goes into its fourth lockdown so I’m not sure whether you’ll be able to see the exhibition currently, even the outdoor projections, but you can listen to the podcast in the meantime. Hoping events just get rescheduled.

In this podcast, Jinghua Qian offers a broken, bite-sized history of Chinatown and its role as the epicentre of a fractured and evolving community.

Audio samples

Nikki Lam, ‘Anchor and a Loose Thread 錨,和懸絲’, two-channel video installation, 2019. Sound design: Supina Bytol and Conor O’Hanlon.

Jay-Dea Lopez, ‘Chinatown, Melbourne’, Sounds Like Noise, 8 October 2011.

Peter Luck, ‘Chinese Australians ambivalent about revolution | RetroFocus’, ABC, 1969. (Accessed via YouTube.)

Cantonese with Brittany, ‘Cantonese vs. Taishanese (ft. Inspirlang)’, YouTube, 30 January 2021.

Inspirlang, ‘Taishanese Tones and Pronunciations (a complete guide to learn how to speak 台山話/Toisan/Hoisanwa)’, YouTube, 30 January 2021.

Nahuatl Tlahtocan, ‘Episode 2: A Linguistic History of Nahuatl’, YouTube, 20 June 2020.

Jess Ho, ‘The End of Chinatown’, 7am, 4 May 2021.

Daniel Keane, ‘Protesters call for wage theft crackdown in Adelaide’s Chinatown following alleged assault’, ABC, 6 February 2021.

Further reading

Jinghua Qian, ‘Chinatown: Melbourne’, Culture Trip, 29 June 2020.

Jinghua Qian, ‘Yellow peril isn’t what it used to be’, Meanjin, Summer 2019/2020.

Liam Ward, ‘Radical Chinese labour in Australian history’, Marxist Left Review, No. 10 Winter 2015.

Jinghua Qian, ‘Things and their makers: from “European labour only” to “ethical consumerism”’, Right Now, 8 September 2015.

Full references available on request.

Emerging Writers Festival events

I’m doing a couple of events at Emerging Writers’ Festival:

Dream House
Saturday 19 June 2021, 7 pm to 8 pm
Footscray Community Arts Centre
$15/$20 – book here

Where are the houses, rooms or places you return to in your memory or imagination? Which spaces have stuck inside of you long after you’ve vacated? These Western suburbs artists paint rooms with words, telling us about the places, homes and lives they’ve inhabited and how those spaces have shaped them, in an evening of works that ponder place and interrogate transfiguration. Hosted by Irihipeti Waretini (full list of performers at the link.)

Industry Insight
Monday 21 June, 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm
presented via YouTube in partnership with MEAA
free – join/view here

With writing being such a solitary practice, entering into the world of words can be confusing and isolating. So, what are your rights as a writer? How much can you expect to make from your words and how do you go about advocating for yourself as a freelancer? Our panelists (Jinghua Qian and Vivienne Pearson) discuss their experiences and what they have learned along the way.

The whole program is pretty rad so go check it out. A lot of the events are free and online too which is great to see. And I’m thrilled that quite a few people I’ve mentored over the last year as part of The Drop-In are featured!

You Can’t Ask That

If you want to watch me on the telly, I’m in the new season of the ABC series You Can’t Ask That in an episode about Chinese Australians. Stream it on iview or wait for it to air every Wednesday at 9pm (I’m on June 9).

Jinghua holds a placard saying 'What does dog taste like?'

Binder full of spreadsheets

Last year I started a little spreadsheet called Critical Mass to help culture editors connect with a wider range of critics. It’s now got over 140 critics listed and personally I use it all the time to recommend people for different gigs. It’s also spawned a couple of other lists:

Diversity in Food Media Australia (DIFMA) recently launched a database for food writers, recipe testers, stylists, photographers and other creators. Find out more or add yourself here.

The First Nations and People of Colour in Publishing network has also created a database of freelancers in publishing. It includes editors, designers, sensitivity readers, translators and proofreaders (but not writers).

There are so many resources available if you’re looking to work with underrepresented writers, so there’s really no excuse!

As Beautiful As Any Other | The Saturday Paper

I reviewed Kaya Wilson’s memoir, As Beautiful As Any Other for The Saturday Paper. Really appreciated having the space to think deeply about this book and the transition memoir as a growing genre.

‘Trans people are under immense pressure to present a coherent and palatable origin story that helps cis people make sense of us – even when we are not seeking medical treatment, we are treated by laypeople as if presenting to them for diagnosis. We are supposed to be intelligent, untroubled, sympathetic and reassuring.’

The Saturday Paper book review graphic showing the cover of Kaya Wilson's As Beautiful As Any Other

Smut | Footscray Community Arts Centre

Image showing two faces in profile, one with light skin wearing a nose ring, one with darker skin and pink lipgloss, swapping spit that stretches and spells out the word "smut"

I don’t know if anyone is ready for this, least of all me, but next Friday I’m making my fanfiction debut at Footscray Community Arts Centre as part of the Smut: Queer Erotic Fan Fiction Salon curated by Sissy Screens.

Here’s a sneak peek of my piece – can you guess who the primary pairing is? (Clue: It’s a crossover fic.)

Screenshot showing story tags "First Time Bottoming, Fighting to Top, Enemies to Lovers, Entrepreneurs to Communists"
A03 is legitimately one of my favourite publishers.

The event is part of Midsumma Festival and it also features Vidya Rajan, Nkechi Anele, Tali Polichtuk, Zoey Dawson, Alistair Baldwin, Ruby Slippers, Wilk Crate and Zoe Terakes. Auslan interpreted. It’s gunna be hot and nerdy!

Antipodean China | InDaily & Writers SA

Plenty of ink and pixels have been spilled over the fraught relationship between Australia and China lately, so Nicholas Jose and Benjamin Madden’s anthology, Antipodean China: Reflections on Literary Exchange, would appear to be a timely intervention in a conversation that is rife with misreadings and illiteracy. Read my review in InDaily, part of Writers SA’s review series.

Cover of Antipodean China showing author names and an red papercut map-like image by John Young

Feminist Erotica | Trouble in Dreams x Dinner Party Press

I’m going to be reading some smut tomorrow night along with Mia Walsch, Ella Baxter and Liz Hicklin for our belated Valentine’s Day date. Tickets are sold out but if you’re lucky enough to have nabbed one, come join us down at the local for cocktails and dirty words.

Sun 14 March 2021
5 pm to 7 pm
Trouble in Dreams
297 Barkly Street, Footscray, VIC 3011
booking required

The promo image says 14 Feb but it’s actually happening 14 Mar coz we got cockblocked by coronavirus, again.