søndag 4. april 2021

China launches musical in bid to counter Uyghur abuse allegations

A new state-produced musical set in Xinjiang inspired by the Hollywood blockbuster “La La Land” has hit China’s cinemas, portraying a rural idyll of ethnic cohesion devoid of repression, mass surveillance and even the Islam of its majority Uyghur population.

China is on an elaborate PR offensive to rebrand the north-western region where the United States and other western nationals and human rights groups say genocide has been inflicted on the Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities. As allegations of slavery and forced labour inside Xinjiang’s cotton industry have drawn renewed global attention, including big brands like Nike saying they would no longer source materials from the region, inside China, Beijing has been curating a very different narrative for the troubled region.

Rap songs, photo exhibitions and a musical – “The Wings of Songs” – are leading the cultural reframing of the region, while a legion of celebrities have seemingly unprompted leapt to the defence of Xinjiang’s tarnished textile industry.