“The truth is, I have no idea what journalism is. I just record what I see.”
"Citizen journalism" refers to those individuals who decide to engage in alternative, potentially activist forms of newsgathering and reporting, outside of mainstream media institutions. Recently awarded Best Newcomer Documentary at the Grierson Awards 2013, High Tech, Low Life chronicles the lives of two citizen journalists from China – ‘Zola,’ a vegetable seller, and ‘Tiger Temple,’ a blogger – as they arm themselves with laptops and digital cameras, and start navigating China in search of stories that do not make it into the mainstream media. As the Chinese government continues to police the Internet, a growing number of Chinese people join the community of socially responsible citizens who are willing to risk political persecution in order to document what remains unspoken in China. While following their journey, the film also sketches the wider picture of a divided Chinese society described not only by unprecedented economic changes but also by consumerism, rampant corruption, severe human rights abuses and a widespread disillusionment with Communist ideology.
As artist activist Ai Wei Wei put it, “the most important thing is to press record”. In Romania, over the past year, we have already seen a number of cases proving that this practice works.
18 March, 18:00, Cinema Studio
23 March, 19:00, Muzeul National al Taranului Roman