Hi. Are you from Xinjiang and now living abroad like me? Are you suffering from anxiety and depression witnessing from afar what is going on in our dear homeland? Do you constantly feel your emotions being built up and repressed, too? Do you feel silenced by Chinese censorship and fear of your family getting punished?
Perhaps… art is a way to get it all out.
Like this one to wish my family a nice Eid…
This perpetual silence, stigma, and violence we always face alone…
Or this rendering of WeChat, one of the only communication apps allowed in China, which has become so insidious and dangerous to use…
While China’s global influence is looming large, we are reminded again and again of the ways we are treated as Muslims or “ethnic minorities.” More than ever, we come to realize the importance of social justice and standing in solidarity with other groups facing similar threats.
I sketched these 2008 Beijing Olympics mascots wearing police uniforms in order to show the experiences of Xinjiang minorities when they are stopped by police on the streets, at security checkpoints, at airport customs, or when they encounter nationalistic Chinese.
Being scanned multiple times is a daily procedure people have to endure in Xinjiang, and the government has confiscated everybody’s passports for “safe keeping.”
Winter Olympics are scheduled to be held in Beijing in 2022. By then, will our families and friends be released? Will the re-education camps still be open and will our loved ones still be exploited for prison labor? How can we contribute in raising global awareness of the unethical Beijing Olympics while the camps are up and running?
Join me to express your opinions through art and design. Join me in having your voices heard. As you can see, I am no artist. You don’t have to be one either. The most important thing is your well-being and freedom to express yourself. If you are concerned for safety, you can always submit anonymously.