Zhou Qing (Foto: privat)
Zhou Qing was born in Xi’an in Shaanxi province in 1964. He is a journalist, nonfiction writer, political reporter, and specializes in oral history. In 1989, he was sentenced to two years in prison for his involvement in the democracy movement. Because he refused to confess and also attempted to escape, his punishment was extended for another eight months. Zhou Qing is the publisher of the magazine Oral Museum and former editor-in-chief of the Chinese weekly Legends & Stories. His book What Kind of God: A Survey of the Current Safety of China’s Food appeared in more than ten countries, including Germany, Italy, Japan, and even became an international bestseller. For this book, he received the 2006 Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Reporting. In 2007, he received an award from the Australian International Scholar Foundation for the best political reporting. He is a member of the Chinese Society for the Study of Folk Literature and Art and Independent Chinese PEN, and from the latter he received the Freedom to Write Award in 2009. Zhou Qing among others addressed controversial social topics in China, for instance in his books Crisis in the Health Care System, Exile in the Homeland and a collection of interviews with drug addicts. After a one-year grant at the Heinrich Böll House, Zhou Qing took part in the Writers in Exile Program of the German PEN Center from September 2009 to August 2012. While in exile in Munich, he was mainly concerned with the situation of migrant workers and the death penalty in his native China. Currently, he lives in Berlin and is working on documenting the Chinese “anti-hoodlum movement” (1983), an artistic social movement.