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The Great Wall — The Way I Have Discovered It

Thursday, December 17th at 7.30pm - 50RMB, 40RMB (Members)

What: A personal Great Wall story told in a colorful, diverse and inspirational presentation, with rarely seen photographs.

Who: William Lindesay, a graduate from geography and geology major at Liverpool University and the author of what China’s official Xinhua News Agency described as “the most successful foreign exploration of the Great Wall”.

Mr. Lindesay will recount how, in 1987, as China was tentatively opening its doors to the outside world, he went in, took a train to one end of the Wall, then set off and trekked 2,500 km along its ruins, following it from desert to sea. This adventure provided an anchor for his future endeavors: from 1990 he has lived in China permanently.

William’s second (and continuing) achievement is perhaps even more remarkable than his first: he has awoken the national consciousness to protect the Great Wall. He will tell us how he initiated activism and spearheaded advocacy, detailing his most influential project of "re-photographing" vintage images of the Wall to evidence astounding changes – and exhibiting his findings nationally.

Since William’s last visit to speak at the Bookworm he has been exploring the Wall's furthest-flung lines, beyond the borders of today’s China, in Mongolia. During these expeditions to investigate what he calls "Great Wall Outside China," his interest was aroused by various artifacts from nomadic cultures. This inspired him to embark on another new project: an "off the Wall" journey, to study various objects in China, Mongolia and worldwide that contain very detailed episodes of its story. He will select a few of these objects from his just-published “The Great Wall in 50 Objects" to illustrate what he’s learned.

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Object 3 from "The Great Wall in 50 Objects" a bronze belt

ornament depicting the face of a Xiongnu warrior.