Talks/ lectures

talk-lecturesIt can be difficult to understand the complex nature of Chinese society today. To help, Beijing Postcards offers a large variety of talks presenting interesting subjects on Beijing and China's history and culture in an easily accessible way. We also offer tailor-made talks for corporate events, clubs, private gatherings, and much more.

Both owners of Beijing Postcards are experienced speakers, who have held many talks on Beijing and China, its modern history and its people. The background for the talks, which most often centre on the historic period between the late nineteenth century and the present day, comes from various sources, whether it be in-depth interviews with old Beijing residents and/or foreigners living in China before the 1950s, local or foreign experts in their field, or intensive studies. Both Lars Ulrik Thom and Simon Rom Gjeroe are published authors in China, Europe and Australia, and have written books and articles on topics ranging from Beijing travel, history and culture to Chinese culture, history, and architecture. All talks are complemented by several photos from Beijing Postcards' unique and extensive collection of historical photographs. A talk normally lasts around one hour, with an additional half an hour for questions.

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List of talks:

“The Disappearing Capital”

"The Disappearing Capital" – Hutong, Traditional Courtyards, Architecture and the Battles of City Planning

The great city of Beijing, capital of China from the ninth century, and given its form for five hundred years by the Ming Dynasty, was for a millennium one of the most extraordinary places on earth. But what physical evidence of that heritage can we still find around us today? A retelling of the city's history interlaced with a frank assessment of the decades of recent upheaval that have been wrought on Beijing, both politically and architecturally.

Based partly on extensive research for a Danish guidebook on Beijing

Talk by Lars Ulrik Thom or Simon Rom Gjeroe

"The Mukden Tiger"

"The Mukden Tiger" – Zhang Zuolin in Warlord China

A unique peek into the life and times of the mightiest warlord in China during the chaotic 1920s, as well as expat life in the capital of Northeast China, Shenyang.

Zhang_Zuolin_1927_1Robert Christensen, a Dane, went to Mukden (present day Shenyang) in 1922 accompanying the Manchurian Warlord Zhang Zuolin's biggest ever order of weapons machinery. Shortly after, he was hired by Zhang to build up the largest arsenal in all of China and consequently had the chance to document, in Kodak stills and silent film footage, the life and death of the short hot-tempered former bandit who ruled Manchuria as his own. Zhang lived a life of luxury in his small castle where he had five wives, was driven around in bright yellow bulletproof limousines, and amassed enormous personal wealth.

“The Call of China”

“The Call of China” – The lives of Foreign Missionaries in Manchuria 1893-1960

191520Aagaard20PoulsenTwo months of travelling to reach a radically different culture. An impossible foreign language and unknown diseases. Invasions, civil wars and at times not too friendly local population. These were the conditions faced by a small group of Danes who felt they had received a calling to come to China. They left with big dreams: they wanted to convert 400 million Chinese.

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