BSI 2024 Symposium

Promotion of Chinese culture and arts, 1930-1950

Around the Geneva Bibliothèque Sino-Internationale

Geneva, Switzerland, 11-13 April 2024

This website, blog and wiki is about the Bibliothèque Sino-Internationale (BSI), an important library/cultural center activ in Geneva, Switzerland, from 1933 to 1950, and later in Montevideo between 1951 and 1993.
Designed and run by Chinese personalities, the BSI aimed at building a better understanding between China and the West.
A general presentation of the BSI is available here.
The BSI Blog presents fascinating details about the BSI. Here are the last entries :

From 11 to 13 April 2024 we organize in Geneva a Symposium about the promotion of Chinese culture and arts in the decades 1930-1950 by, and around, the Geneva Bibliothèque Sino-Internationale.

Symposium sessions

Sessions will be held on

Thursday 11 April 2024 13:30-17:00,
Friday 12 April 09:00-12:00 and 14:00-17:00
Saturday 13 April 09:00-13:00

Click here for a detailed program

This symposium aims at being an opportunity for exchange and discussion among 16 specialists to shed light on the Bibliothèque Sino-Internationale and on the circumstances and context of its action. The main focus is on the promotion of Chinese arts: painting, literature, music, theatre and opera. Four axes are defined:

Promotion of Chinese culture and arts

To strengthen her position in the League of Nations, China played the cultural and civilizational card by obtaining its participation in the International Commission for Intellectual Cooperation in Geneva and in its Institute in Paris. BSI’s creation and actions can be seen as a component of this diplomatic strategy, while being also a continuation of the many Sino-French and Sino-German collaborations in the fields of education and research. This axis of our colloquium will explore the circumstances leading to the creation of the BSI.

History of the Sino-International Library

From its inception on, BSI organized numerous exhibitions of art, photographs, children’s drawings, as well as conferences and concerts, covering many aspects of people and things Chinese. This axis aims to explore the collections of the BSI, the curatorial practices of the activities undertaken, the local history of their reception of, the economic aspects of these activities, etc.

Biographies and prosopographies

Many remarkable personalities are linked to the history of the BSI: sinologists, Chinese students and scholars, artists, authors and translators, diplomats and their wives, feminists, friends of China, collectors etc. This axis looks at these different actors or visitors, taken individually or as a category.

Specific areas

The fourth axis intends to leave room for specific themes around the promotional activities of the BSI: music, opera and theatre, literature, and poetry, painting and calligraphy, folk and learned arts, classifications and encyclopedias. Contribution about the further action of the BSI in Montevideo are also welcome.

Public events

THURSDAY 11 APRIL, 20:00
Film Screening : Love and Duty, 1931

FRIDAY 12 APRIL 2024, 20:00
Concert : Chinese music and theater around the BSI

SATURDAY 13 APRIL, 20:00
Film screening : to be announced

SUNDAY 14 APRIL, 20:00
Neuchâtel, Haute école de musique,
Concert : Chinese music and theater around the BSI

This is a multilingual site. Translations are curated and the use of automatic translations is kept to a minimum.

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