You are here

Thursday, September 28, 2017 - 19:30

Red Diaper Babies 2: Life through the eyes of the families of “Foreign Experts” who lived in China during the Cultural Revolution

A panel discussion with Antonio Ochoa and Andy Friend moderated by Caroline Nath

Residence of Embassy of New Zealand
8th Floor Entrance 1 (West Entrance) Office Building (Bangonglou) Sanlitun DRC 1 Gongrentlyuchang Bei Lu


BIS events are open to foreign passport holders only.
All BIS events are off-the-record.
Photography, filming and recording are not permitted.

Non-members welcome for a single lecture fee of RMB 60;
students with valid ID RMB 30. 

Membership desk open 7:00 pm for 7:30 pm lecture,
no reservations necessary.

For inquiries on the day of the event, from 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm, please call 1324 151 4978.

Following the hugely popular launch of the Red Diaper Babies series in the spring, we are delighted to announce a sequel. Living in China during the Cultural Revolution, the families of ‘foreign experts’ have a unique insight into this complex and defining period of Chinese history.

From the 50’s through the 80’s, when China was still a mystery to the rest of the world, a small community of international “red experts” were living and working in Beijing. They all shared sympathy for the struggle of the Chinese people and were following an ideal to build a better world. The two charismatic foreign red guards, Antonio Ochoa and Andy Friend, will share a glimpse into their fascinating childhood and that politically charged era. From having Chinese as their first language and growing up in a mono-racial world, to the political struggles among foreign Maoists and what it was like to live in a “luxury concentration camp”, they will tell some fascinating stories that are symbolic of the late 60’s and early 70’s. They will give a first-hand account of that microcosm that consisted of many shades of red when leftist humanism was considered an ideal worth fighting for.

Antonio Ochoa moved to China with his parents and siblings at the height of the Cultural Revolution. He lived in China from 1968 to 1970, when he was 11 to 13 years old. He is originally Venezuelan and returned to Beijing with his wife Jenny in 1993, where he became one of the first foreign architects to create a studio in China. In 1999, he joined the real estate development company Red Stone (now SOHO) as Chief Architect, to design the first SOHO (Small Office Home Office) project in Beijing, introducing for the first time contemporary design and living concepts to private residence developments in China and helping to introduce foreign architects to the Chinese construction market.

Andy Friend was born in 1966 at the launch of the Cultural Revolution. His Italian mother was a Sinologist and translator who came to China in 1964. She subsequently became well known as a contemporary Chinese art historian and critic. His American father was a McCarthy era political exile who came to China in 1962 and worked at the Foreign Languages Press in China’s propaganda machine. After graduating from the China Central Academy of Fine Arts, Andy has been involved in many international film productions since the 80’s and is currently a filmmaker working in the Chinese Film Industry.

Caroline Nath came to Beijing as a teenager in the 80’s with her family who were part of the first batch of Foreign Businesses invited by Deng Xiaoping’s reform and opening up policies of the mid-80’s. She is a former journalist, TV and film producer, active in organic markets and owner of Bonne Nani Organic Jams and Chutneys.