Saturday, September 24, 2016

Interview with a Chinese Dissident

The New York Review of Books sits down with filmmaker Ai Xiaoming. (Her films are banned in China, by the way.) The whole thing is fascinating, but here is a piece of it:
Q; I’m curious about how you became politically active. During the 1989 protests you were not involved with the student movement. 
A: People like me who went through the Cultural Revolution, we are often skeptical of politics. I was a teacher and I watched the students but didn’t participate directly. I went to Tiananmen Square twice but mainly watched this from a distance. 
Q: What changed? 
A: In 1999 I spent a year abroad at the University of the South in Tennessee. It had a huge impact on me. I saw how people discussed social problems. I remember participating in commemorations for Martin Luther King, Jr. on his holiday. I thought: this is how a university ought to be; I want to bring this back to China.

Monday, September 19, 2016