CODOC | Blog

Chinese Dissonance: 10 Stories From Beyond The Firewall

Chinese-DissonanceSMALLChinese Dissonance: 10 Stories From Beyond The Internet Firewall

These are swirly times for our stories. As unfamiliar narratives begin to clash and usurp the ones we’ve grown to take for granted, the focus on bringing those perspectives to our attention and to understand and empathise with them has become ever more important. In 2012 I was asked to do a TED Talk where I spoke about the clash of narratives in a multi-polar world. I spoke about the need as storytellers to challenge ourselves before we claim the right to challenge others.

CODOC have never been hesitant to take risks when it comes to pushing ourselves and today we present a quiet step toward something unfamiliar. I’ve published a book under the CODOC banner. Chinese Dissonance was written over the course of a few months last year and presents an effort to translate what we do at CODOC through a different medium – through fiction.

This book is made up of ten stories that have a common thread – they were all inspired from real world internet commentary gleaned from the so-called Chinese internet. Most of the stories gathered in this collection could not have been possible without the curation of translation sites like ChinaSMACK and ChinaGeeks. These websites were the source of these stories. I merely indulged my imagination in connecting threads within them. If nothing more than to stream through the kaleidoscope of commentary gathered about our own culture from afar do pay these sites a visit. Once translated, the voices of internet users in China make for enthralling reading. The threads are as engaging, dubiously intellectual, crass, at times moving and as funny as anything you’ll find elsewhere. Sometimes all the wisdom you’ll ever need is typed into a message box by someone calling themselves “anon426″.

The majority of character dialogue in these stories are directly culled from real comments now frozen on the web for posterity. Chinese Dissonance then, is a book for global netizens. An attempt to storify fleeting voices from a particularly misunderstood pocket of the internet to illuminate our own place, and theirs, within it.

Guy Gunaratne 2014

You can buy the book by clicking below or following the link here.


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