18 October 2012

Photographs of Silenced Critics


In The New York Times you can find this Op-Ed and this one on the political travails that have descended on Chinese novelist Mo Yan who has just been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. The essays warn against a too easy moralism - especially when exercised from a distance - in judging Mo Yan. And it must be said that upon winning the prize Mo Yan spoke out clearly on behalf of imprisoned Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo.

On the eve of the Prize announcement last week, Reporters Without Borders released this video clip of Liu Xia, wife of Liu Xiaobo, who herself has been under house arrest for the past two years. Liu Xia is a writer and photographer. Her detention and nearly total isolation is a case of extrajudicial harassment, likely aimed, according to this report from the BBC, at inducing her husband to agree to accepting exile. As you will discover, the clip - from which the silhouette above was excised - is silent, except for the chirping crickets.

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