NüVoices Podcast #39: Beijing Lights: A conversation with Huang Chenkuang

Image: 宋盼 (Song Pan)


This week’s bonus episode of NüVoices was recorded live from Beijing, where Anthony Tao had a conversation with Huang Chenkuang, a journalist and creative who runs the interview series Beijing Lights (published on the website of the arts collective Spittoon). They spoke in front of an audience at the bar Camera Stylo, which was — believe it or not — launching a cocktail named after Huang’s Beijing Lights.

For each article in the series, Huang interviews one person — often a stranger, and usually someone on the margins of society — and tells that person’s story. She has profiled housekeepers (“If I had to live my life again, I’d probably lead the exact same life”), blind masseuses (“Only a few know my full name here, they just call me ‘Number Five’”), fortune-tellers (“Now that all the good stuff I’ve wanted is finally here, it’s already too late, and I’m old”), barbers (“I wasn’t dreaming big, anyway”), and more, getting them to reveal personal details along with their misgivings, their regrets, and their dreams.

Among other subjects, she and Anthony talked about her methods, her interviewees, herself, and also this one guy who may have eaten human flesh. We hope you enjoy this episode.

(Huang has also written for SupChina in the past, on topics such as Li Wenliang and the “online wailing wall” and Chinese parents who lose their only child.)

Image: 宋盼 (Song Pan)