Since 2017, the Uyghur region has been plunged into an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. Millions of people have been put into political re-education camps, men and women have been separated and women sterilised on a massive scale. Among these millions of men and women were intellectuals, researchers and artists. Some of them received harsh sentences, including life imprisonment. In this repression, traditional music and culture were largely targeted by China's policy of censorship and surveillance. Certain classical repertoires such as the On ikki muqam (with Sufi poetry) and traditional banquets, the Meshrep, are banned or extremely restricted in their practice. At the same time, Uyghur music and dance in a folkloristic form have been used by the Chinese government as propaganda to counter the accusations of the international community. In this talk, we look at questions about the use of music and dance in this period of crisis by both the Chinese government and the Uyghur community for a variety of purposes. And we also discuss the power dynamics around artistic expression in the diaspora. Who has the right to sing Uyghur songs today? In what form and for what audience?
Mukaddas Mijit is a researcher at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (EASt and LAMC) and a member of the Remote XUAR project.
Read more: https://uhrp.org/report/the-complicity-of-heritage-cultural-heritage-and-genocide-in-the-uyghur-region/
Next lectures: 24 April, 15 May, 5 June