Compelled Silence and Compelled Sound in the Uyghur Genocide


By Elise Anderson
Dec 15, 2020

Since 2017, China has waged a repressive campaign against Uyghurs in an effort to destroy their ways of life. This essay considers compelled silence and compelled sound as a byproduct of this genocidal campaign. The impact on Uyghur soundscapes reveals the depth of Chinese state interference into Uyghur life and underscores the gross scale of the mass atrocity itself.

One afternoon in June 2018, I found myself browsing in an antique shop in Östengboyi (The Stream’s Edge), a neighborhood running alongside the Id Kah mosque of Kashgar, the famed Uyghur city in China’s Uyghur Autonomous Region. Behind me, I heard a voice say, “essalamu eleykum,” meaning peace be upon you, the Arabic greeting used by Muslims worldwide. “We eleykum essalam,” I heard another voice answer. And also on you. I turned and saw two elderly Uyghur men embracing. I then looked toward the shopkeeper; surprise was written across his face. Our eyes met, but we said nothing.

Read teh full article at The Georgetown Journal of International Affairs (GJIA)

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