Last year Meta Louise Foldager Sørensen and Mette Bjerregaard, of the Meta Film Dok production company, produced and released a #MeToo film mosaic. The project, available at dkmetoo.dk, is a collection of 100 videos, narrated by 100 Danish actors, of anonymous testimonials by men and women about sexual harassment across a variety of industries and social levels in Denmark.
Passing on the #MeToo baton
An aim of the mosaic was to pass on the #MeToo baton, from a starting point in the film industry to all of society. The mosaic travelled across Denmark via social media and the country’s cultural institutions. In May 2018, the mosaic had its international premiere at Cannes, and now the baton is arriving in China.
On 8 March, the Danish Cultural Center in Beijing is launching the event '100 Days of Gender, Power and Violence', focusing on gender and equality. Over the next three months and more, the Danish #MeToo mosaic will be distributed on social media in China. The 100 video narratives have been translated into Chinese in partnership between Meta Film Dok and the Danish Cultural Center.
From #MeToo to #性别暴力
Eric Messerschmidt, director of the Danish Cultural Center in Beijing, is overseeing the project in China, where the videos, furnished with Chinese subtitles, will be distributed via the local social media app WeChat. The Western #MeToo is being replaced with the Chinese #性别暴力 ("gender-related violence"). The expectation is for the mosaic to build on a movement that is already growing in China.
"There is definitely a basis for a project like this. Although Chinese women have some of the strongest rights in Asia, there is still a lot of oppression and sexism in the workplace. Women are expected to always live up to a certain image," Messerschmidt says.
As he sees it, the Danish narratives have great potential to raise awareness and provide a language that can inspire women to take a stand in the public debate. "The Chinese see Danish women as among the most equal and liberated in the world. Seeing that they are fighting the same fight as Danish women will help them realize that their struggle is part of something bigger."
Moving on to other countries
Meta Film’s ambition with the #MeToo mosaic has always been to show that the exercise of sexual power happens across all age groups, industries and levels of society. "We hope pushing the mosaic out to the rest of the world can help start a conversation and break down a culture of silence," Foldager Sørensen says.
"We are delighted – and proud – that our mosaic has found distribution in China," she says. The vision calls for continuing the partnership between Meta Film Dok and the Danish Cultural Institute to allow the mosaic to continue its journey – eventually to Russia, India and Brazil. "We are currently working to bring it to Sweden and Germany," the producer says.
The first #MeToo video is being released in China on Friday, 8 March. In the video above, with Chinese subtitles, Danish actor Amalie Dollerup interprets an anonymous story of sexual harassment in academia. See the video with English subtitles.