Forest Purnell '14

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Forest Purnell is a legislative intern for the Iowa General Assembly, and a 2014–15 Fulbright scholar.

While interning for the state television channel China Central TV, Purnell began to think about how his colleagues and other creative people in China are balancing multiple demands: from the market and the state, urban and rural. While artists working overseas have become the face of contemporary Chinese culture, “it is the cultural agents who choose to work within a space of productive friction between state and market whose effects are felt in the way people live,” he wrote.

For his Fulbright—which was partially funded by the Chinese Government Scholarship— Purnell conducted a series of video interviews intended to bring worldwide audiences face-to-face with current Chinese culture-makers from industrial designers to architects, television producers to online developers.