In recent years, live streaming has boomed in China and turned into a veritable industry, even if censors have recently clamped down on the phenomenon. Viewers chat with so-called anchors, and reward them with virtual gifts to be exchanged for actual money. For her documentary, Shengze Zhu followed a dozen streaming anchors for ten months. From more than 800 hours of footage she created a collective portrait not of internet fame but of lonely lives on the margins of society: a street dancer, a paralyzed girl, a single mother working in a textile factory.
The screening is followed by a response and discussion with Joshua Neves, author of Underglobalization (2020) and researcher on how globalization affects Chinese and Asian video cultures, moderated by Florian Wüst.