lørdag 28. mars 2020

Longing for the Spring: The Uyghur Poets Who Denounce the CCP

Spring Festival comes round every year for the Han Chinese, but the Uyghur people of North West China have waited longingly for centuries, largely in vain, for their Spring to come. Gathering in a cellar in London’s Covent Garden, no fireworks or special food for them. The long journey to their homeland to gather with family, as their Han compatriots return to their ancestral seat, is banned, and a group of Uyghur musicians and poets gather to remember another kind of Spring. The one that never comes.

With the majority of Uyghur scholars, writers and many musicians detained in so-called “vocational training centres,” aka transformation through education camps, a UK diaspora remnant and their supporters meet regularly to play national music and keep the memory alive of fellow poets whose fate they can only imagine. They have all disappeared without trace during the last two and a half years, following the ruthless clampdowns of Chen Quanguo, the new governor of Xinjiang. Alive or dead, there is no news.