Ember Swift is a Canadian musician and singer-songwriter who has been living in Beijing since 2008. She’s released 12 albums and 1 DVD project since 1996 through her own independent label. Her most recent album "Sticks & Stones" (2017) is a collection of work in three categories: Songs for Adults; Songs for Kids; and finally Songs for Adults w/ Kids, a community she feels deserves some separate recognition! This new body of work culminated over the past five years since becoming a mother of two in 2012 and 2013, respectively. She writes very eclectic music in a variety of styles including jazz, folk, funk, calypso, rock, folk-rock, reggae and country. Her songs are in English, Mandarin and French.
Ember Swift is also a new writer on the scene. Since coming to China, she completed an MFA through the City University of Hong Kong and currently writes for Beijing Kids Magazine, Mami Magazine, Women in China Magazine and Canada’s Feminist Quarterly: Herizons. Her own blog “Queer Girl Gets Married” was the winner of the 2013 Lotus Blossom “Best Love Blog” award. Ember’s completed memoir is currently seeking publication. Excerpts have been published in the online journal Cliterature (spring 2017), the prestigious journal Asia Literary Review (winter 2016) and in the following anthologies: Afterness: Literature for the New Transnational Asia (2016), Knocked Up Abroad: Stories of Pregnancy, Birth and Raising a Family in a Foreign Country (2016), and How Does One Dress To Buy Dragonfruit: True Stories of Expat Women in Asia (2014).
For more information about Ember Swift, please visit her website: www.emberswift.com.
Chris Warren is a Beijing-based artist and writer from London, U.K. His first collection ‘Pareidolia’ was exhibited in Beijing at Más in June of 2016. A series of six hand-drawn text works which drew heavily on the Rorschach inkblot, it explored the psychological phenomenon of seeing patterns where none actually exist.
This second collection, RSI, has been exhibited at Aotu Studios in Beijing since February 2017.
Chris is primarily interested in text-based art forms and language games, and supports Beijing’s creative community as host of the Spittoon fiction night and as one of the editors for the bi-annual Spittoon Literary Magazine, a literary journal recently listed in Time Out Shanghai as one of the best literary magazines in Asia.
Chris is currently in the process of completing his third collection of works that he hopes to exhibit in June of 2017.
Based in Beijing since 2008, Vicky Mohiedeen is a filmmaker, drama teacher, and producer (as well as mobile-phone photographer to more than 10,000 people on Instagram). In 2009 she founded Electric Shadows, a nonprofit film collective, which has played a key role in helping shape the evolution of public cinema in Beijing.
From 2013 - 2016, Mohieddeen worked as Creative Projects Manager for Koryo Tours, the world's leading North Korean travel specialist, producing video content and organising cultural engagement events between international artists and their North Korean counterparts.
Her work with Koryo Tours has taken her to North Korea more than 20 times and ranges from co-ordinating overseas submissions to the Pyongyang International Film Festival, to producing ground-breaking work within the country itself, such as the viral time-lapse video ‘Enter Pyongyang’. Her most recent project, working with 3D photographer Matjaz Tancic, is the most wide-ranging portraiture series ever undertaken in North Korea, and recently became the first art-photography exhibition ever to be shown in Pyongyang.
Danny Du will be graduating from the Western Academy of Beijing in Spring, 2018. He was born in the city of Beijing but spent a good portion of his childhood in Vancouver, Canada. Since his return to Beijing in 2011, he has been a student at the Western Academy of Beijing (WAB). He is currently the president of ProFarmers, a school club dedicated to the promotion of Fair Trade.
Born in Tammisaari, Finland, Emilia Sullstrom moved to Beijing, China at the age of six. Her hobbies are playing sports such as track and field and soccer. She is passionate about feminism, which led to her and has been active in the formation of a middle school feminist group called FAWThought.
Alana Gentleman was born in England, and holds Canadian citizenship. She has lived in Beijing since she was three years old. She loves sports, especially track and field. A student at the Western Academy of Beijing, Alana and a group of other 8th grade students were interested in changing the dress code at their school, which helped lead to the formation of the school feminist group now called FAWthought.
Erica Nelson was born and raised in Seattle, Washington, USA. She moved to Beijing in January 2015 and began attending the Western Academy of Beijing that fall. She is currently in the 8th grade and loves acting and music. She is an avid reader, and is very interested in social issues and debate.
Natasha Chen has been living in Beijing for the last 10 years. Born in the United States, Natasha has also lived in Delaware and New York. She enjoys playing soccer and badminton, and is an avid reader of books, her favorite genre being science fiction. She hopes to study abroad in Boston, Massachusetts, and continue her studies there through college. She is considering being a programmer in her future.
Interested in Becoming a Speaker?
Didn’t sign up in time for this year’s talk? Don’t worry, we will be back next year. If you have an idea you are passionate about, we would love more than anything for you to come and share it with our community. No matter how big or small, we believe that all stories should be heard. We understand that public speaking maybe intimidating at times, but don’t worry, TEDx Youth @ WAB is a community of friends and family. Many of our most memorable speakers have had zero presenting experience, which proves you can do it too! All you need is an interesting idea, we promise we won’t bite. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.