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Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Center (CHP) is a small grassroots, legally-registered NGO working to protect cultural heritage across China.

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Heritage Trail project

Hutong Photography Training!


Last Saturday October 15, over 20 volunteers gathered at Fangjia Hutong to learn how to photograph hutongs to create elevation panoramas, or limian tu, of each hutong in Nanluoguxiang, as part of our Heritage Trail project. Afterwards, volunteers paired up to go into the hutongs and begin photographing. Participants included architecture and history university students as well as old-time Beijing residents and other members of our growing hutong community! It was a great time for volunteers to meet each other and there were many new faces as well as familiar ones. Stay tuned for more progress on our heritage trail project as we work toward documenting the history and condition of each hutong in Nanluoguxiang. Check out our Heritage Trail Project and contact us to learn more about volunteer opportunities!

October 15th “Heritage Trail” Project: Hutong Elevation Photography Volunteer Training

October 15th “Heritage Trail” Project: Hutong Elevation Photography Volunteer Training

Time: October 15, 2011 (Saturday), 2:00 to 3:30 PM
Location: 46 Fangjia Hutong, Room E309, (hutong is off of Andingmen Inner Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing)

To RSVP, Either:
1. Send an email to chpnews@163.com (please provide your name, the number of people participating, and a phone or email address where you can be reached)
2. Give us a call at: 010-64036532

Volunteer Requirements:
1. Must love photography and Old Beijing Culture!
2. Best if you have your own digital camera
3. Have free time on weekends to participate
4. Can make a commitment to finish the work assigned!

Event lowdown | CHP and IBM hutong day

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Organized by the Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Center (CHP), and supported by the IBM Greater China finance team, more than 30 volunteers participated in studying 10 Shichahai hutong. Through photography, drawings, and written records, participants found ways to record the status of the hutong in this area, including the state of preservation and destruction of buildings, residential and rental conditions, and other important cultural heritage protection sites.

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Volunteers recorded a total of 10 hutong, including Yíndìng Qiáo Hútòng, Zhānzi Hútòng, Dà Jīn Sī Hútòng, XiǎoJīn Sī Hútòng, Dà Xiáng Fèng Hútòng, Běi Guānfáng Hútòng, Nán Guānfáng Hútòng, Qián Jǐng Hútòng, Hòu Xiǎojǐng Hútòng and Dōng Méi Chǎng Hútòng.

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Although it was the first time for the volunteers to participate in cultural heritage protection activities, many people were able to experience and see the hutong way of life and feel old Beijing culture. Everyone was very excited and enthusiastic. As the hutong were narrow and crowded with a lot of debris accumulated, there were difficulties for photo shooting, but the volunteers still patiently managed to carefully proofread, photograph and record.

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Volunteers were divided into teams, with each team responsible for a different hutong, devising a panel which included photographs, records and drawings. Through this volunteer activity, we not only gain a lot of historical knowledge about our local culture, but it also reflects the team spirit and dedication the volunteers have for their community and culture.

Yunnan Textile Shoot

CHP recently had the pleasure of working with Beijing freelance photographer Geraldine Cuason who generously volunteered her time to come and shoot some of our Menglian textiles which have been woven as part of the Menglian weaving revival project.
Geraldine said: “it was an interesting and different shoot because it involves textiles!”
“There are many different colors, patterns and sizes. They also make scarves that are lush and soft to the touch. The photos that I took will be used in brochures and marketing materials. 100% of the money earned from the sales will be given back to the Menglian Weavers,” she said.
Thanks for your effort Geraldine!

From the City of Brotherly Love to the Great Wall: An Intern’s Take


James surveys a Beijing hutong

Name: James Watson-Krips

Hometown: Philadelphia, USA

Position: Intern

Project: Heritage Trail

Living in Beijing in 2011 is an experience like no other. The city’s dynamism is palpable, and in few other places can one find the old and new side by side in such stark contrast. But China’s mad dash to modernity, much of Beijing’s heritage has come under threat. Who works to advocate for these cultural treasures? Who works to give heritage protection a voice?

That’s where CHP comes in.

Although I’ve only been here a short while, I can already say working at CHP has been a great experience. It’s an exciting and energetic office environment and everyone is incredibly committed to the cause of protecting China’s cultural heritage in both Beijing and beyond.

CHP may be a smaller NGO, but this has only given me a greater chance to make an impact. I’ve already been handed a leadership role in our Heritage Trail Project, an initiative designed to give individuals a first-hand look into Beijing’s cultural and architectural history. Starting with the Nanluoguxiang and Shichahai neighborhoods, my project partners and I will thoroughly research, explore, photograph, and map out every hutong in the area. We’ll then compile the data into a variety of dual-language brochures and booklets, each one detailing a different walking itinerary through which one can experience Old Beijing. We hope that after seeing the cultural treasures to be found in China’s capital, people will come to better understand why these artifacts both deserve and require protection.

Similarly, the varied nature of CHP’s preservation work has challenged me to draw from multiple aspects of my skill set and actively use my degree in East Asian Studies. I’ve had to actively employ my Chinese language skills through translation work, apply my knowledge of Chinese history while researching hutong, and utilize my writing abilities to craft grant proposals. I’ve even had to work as a photographer, documenting hutong life.

Working at CHP brings something new to the table every day, and I’m positive that the next few months will prove challenging and memorable. I’ve been given a chance to work towards a great cause in my own field of interest, and I will do all I can to make a difference in a city like no other.

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