“Symposium 2016 Beijing Summer Boot Camp” held successfully with support from Columbia Beijing Center


“Symposium 2016 Beijing Summer Boot Camp” held successfully with support from Columbia Beijing Center

August 17, 2016


The Symposium 2016 Beijing Summer Boot Camp held from August 8 to August 14 at the Experimental High School Attached to Beijing Normal University (ESBNU), organized by students from Columbia University and supported by Columbia Global Centers | Beijing. This year, the Symposium provided discussion sessions, workshop sessions and outing events in the past few days. More than 40 people were in attendance. 

Video Art Workshop


In the discussion session, Symposium facilitated seminar discussions around Western classical texts in comparison with Eastern classical texts, which covered following texts in the form of comparative reading: To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf VS To Live by Yu Hua, Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals by Kant VS Confucius Analects by Confucius and Symposium by Plato VS Zhuang Zi by “Master Zhuang”. Seminar discussions of cross-cultural reading of classical humanities texts were conducted comparatively in the historical, cultural and social context, and critical thinking skills and cultural sensitivity among participants with diverse cultural backgrounds were enhanced through bilingual reading.

Memory and Cinema Workshop


In the workshop session, in particular, three thematic workshops were held in the form of “Kaleidoscope”, Video Art Workshop: moving visual language, and Memory and Cinema. Students got holistic views on Art and Existentialism by reading All That by David Foster Wallace, What is Art? by Leo Tolstoy and The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir. Through screenings, discussions and, ultimately, production of video art, the participants not only explored the relatively new medium of contemporary art, but also well understood the essence of video capture, editing, the procedure and complete process of conducting related art projects; by viewing Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the spotless Mind, Joshua Oppenheier’s the Act of Killing and other matched reading material, a wide array of skill sets including analytical writing and reading, critical thinking, and more were introduced to participants when they were asked to discuss and write an essay regarding the designed topics. 

Kaleidoscope Workshop


Besides, by engaging in outing events, all the participants took great advantages of the rich cultural resources in Beijing and attended seven cultural events such as an exhibition of “A True Process”, shooting of a full movie, a live drama "A Letter from an Unknown Woman" by Meng Jinghui, which enable participants to reflect on the classical texts in a real life context.

All the attendees spoke highly of this a-week-long Summer Boot Camp, that they truly appreciated the opportunity offered to widen their visions. The student organizers have also learnt from the event this year and will provide better experience next year.  

Students sharing her work with all