Sun 12.3.17 – 19:00 – BFFW 2017 – The danger of activism

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  • 12/03/2017
    20:00 - 22:00
This program will give you insight into being an activist in China, Iran, Somalia and Germany as we have invited three human rights activist to a discussion after the screening of the film Hooligan Sparrow. They will share their experiences, all similar to that of Ye Haiyan and Nanfu Wang, with us after the screening. In today’s political climate, activism will be more important than ever. But being openly engaged in human rights or feminist activism is not that easy for everyone.


Dr. Nasrin Bassiri, women’s representative at the Kunsthochschule Weissensee and human rights activist from Iran.

Fatuma Musa Afrah, activist and speaker from Somalia/Kenya.


Hooligan Sparrow / Nanfu Wang / China / 2016

Hooligan Sparrow, a well-known Chinese feminist activist who advocates for sex worker’s rights, puts herself into a vuneral position to fight for the human rights of women and girls in China. But China is not the only country, where activism can put your life in danger and whereas we (most of the time) can proudly say that we are feminists without risking repercussions, this is not the case in many countries in the world. After the screening, feminist and human rights activists from different countries will share the experienced with us in a panel discussion.

Hooligan Sparrow / Nanfu Wang / 2016 / 84 min

The danger is palpable as intrepid young filmmaker Nanfu Wang follows maverick activist Ye Haiyan (a.k.a Hooligan Sparrow) and her band of colleagues to Hainan Province in southern China to protest the case of six elementary school girls who were sexually abused by their principal. Marked as enemies of the state, the activists are under constant government surveillance and face interrogation, harassment, and imprisonment. Sparrow, who gained notoriety with her advocacy work for sex workers’ rights, continues to champion girls’ and women’s rights and arms herself with the power and reach of social media.

Filmmaker Wang becomes a target along with Sparrow, as she faces destroyed cameras and intimidation. Yet she bravely and tenaciously keeps shooting, guerrilla-style, with secret recording devices and hidden-camera glasses, and in the process, she exposes a startling number of undercover security agents on the streets. Eventually, through smuggling footage out of the country, Wang is able tell the story of her journey with the extraordinary revolutionary Sparrow, her fellow activists, and their seemingly impossible battle for human rights.