onsdag 14. oktober 2020

Kashgar Coerced: Forced Reconstruction, Exploitation, and Surveillance in the Cradle of Uyghur Culture

Due to its unique earthen construction and lengthy history as the “cradle of Uyghur culture,” the city of Kashgar holds a profound degree of significance for the Uyghurs that is difficult to fully appreciate by outsiders. For this reason, the Chinese state has gone to extraordinary lengths to co-opt the city’s symbolic heritage.

In Kashgar, the current campaigns of forced labor and re- education camps build upon longer histories of forced reconstruction, economic exploitation, and surveillance that have been systematically reshaping the city since the early 2000s. Kashgar’s reconstruction, exploitation, and surveillance have been mutually reinforcing and highly sophisticated, producing a new breed of totalitarian “smart city” optimized for ethnic repression. By staging this unprecedented urban experiment in the heart of Uyghur culture, the Chinese state has been able to coercively reinforce a living vision of Uyghur society in the service of cultural genocide.