‘Uyghur pop music humanizes and amplifies their hopes': Interview with musicologist Elise Anderson

Concert with Uyghur musician (the one holding the guitar) Perhat Khadiq from the group Qetiq. Screenshot from YouTube video.

Filip Noubel
Posted 20 August 2020 12:24 GMT

In many societies living under oppression and cultural denial, music is often the only space and form of resistance. This is particularly true for the 11 million Uyghurs in Western China, and the many thousands now forced to flee their homeland.

To understand how music has become an essential source of visibility, I spoke to Elise Anderson, an expert on Uyghur language and music who spent years in Xinjiang, and now works as a Senior Program Officer with the Uyghur Human Rights Project.

This interview has been edited for brevity.