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Madeleine O'Dea - The Phoenix Years

As a young foreign correspondent Madeleine O’Dea arrived in China in the late 1980s to cover the economic reforms of Den Xiaoping, but became entranced by China’s burgeoning art scene. Over three decades she came to learn they were inextricably linked and her coverage of the arts told the story of social change in the nation.


Let no one speak of China who has not read The Phoenix Years. (Tom Keneally)


By following the personal stories of nine contemporary Chinese artists, The Phoenix Years shows how China's rise unleashed creativity, thwarted hopes and sparked tensions between the individual and the state that continue to this day. It relates the amazing years of self-discovery and hope in the 1980s, which ended in the disaster of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Following that tragedy comes the story of China's meteoric economic rise, of the opportunities that emerged and the difficult compromises artists and others have to make to be citizens in modern China.

Join Madeleine in conversation with national ABC Local Radio Nightlife host Philip Clark.

Madeleine O'Dea is a writer and journalist who has been covering the political, economic, and cultural life of China for the past three decades. She was Beijing correspondent for The Australian Financial Review in the late 1980s, and covered China throughout the 1990s as a producer with ABC Television. In 2004 she moved to Beijing and worked with China Radio International and later served as the arts editor for the magazine, the Beijinger. In 2010 she became the founding editor-in-chief of ARTINFO China and the Asia correspondent for Art+Auction and Modern Painters magazines. She now lives in Sydney.

Tickets: $10 (includes a complimentary glass of wine or soft drink)



Earlier Event: November 19
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Later Event: November 23
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