Saturday, March 16, 2013

These Walls Run With The Blood Of Tibet

I just had an email from The University of Northampton:

C H I N A ’ S

The University of Northampton, School of The Arts are proud to be showcasing traditional and contemporary artworks of the Naxi, ethnic minority people of China.

This exhibition focuses on the visual identity of the Naxi ethnic minority people from Yunnan province in China. Through traditional processes; carving, painting and drawing we share an understanding of the historical value of promoting and preserving the Naxi culture with its unique pictograph based scripts.

The School of The Arts is working in conjunction with the Communication University of China and the Lijiang Government to raise awareness of this unique culture.  You may already have seen the coverage of this project on the ITV news, and the level of interest has resulted in the creation of a professional documentary covering the experiences of a team of staff and student from Northampton who visited Lijiang October 2012. 

We are now honoured to welcome as our guests the Naxi artists whose work we are hosting, together with representatives from the City of Lijiang, guests from the Chinese embassy, and representatives of the Chinese and UK media.

Northampton University really does like its pals in the merciless Chinese Communist dictatorship, doesn't it? My exasperated reply was:

Dear --------,

I hope while we are entertaining guests from the Chinese Embassy someone from the University of Northampton mentions China's appalling human rights record and raises at least a polite objection about its brutal sixty-year occupation of Tibet, which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths, the forced sterilisation of Tibetan women, the plunder of Tibet's natural resources and the attempted erasure of the Tibetan language and religion. These are matters of fact rather than opinion and I would find it extremely troubling if a university which instructs against the evils of colonialism and the oppression of women chose to ignore them.


Bruce Hodder

BA English 3rd Year.

When I think about the naked tango Northampton has been doing with China since I got here (and probably long before), I feel like throwing my postcolonial dissertation in the river at the bottom of my road. Because the actions of the university grading my work render them completely unqualified to have an opinion on it.

Frantz Fanon would be turning in his grave.


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