All posts tagged: Friendship

A Smile of Recognition, A Look of Disdain, Sharing a Uyghur Frame

The Legacy of Ai Qing’s Xinjiang Poetics Sometimes the mountains faded into the whiteness of the clouds and it was difficult to distinguish what was snow and what was clouds. Yet some days there were no clouds and the mountains seem to float in the air. This caused me to have a good and proper smile. –Ai Qing, The Poetic Life, 2007, 67 (Looking south from Shihezi to the Heavenly Mountains) 1. Like the rest of contemporary China, Xinjiang is going through a rapid economic transformation. By simultaneously depoliticizing the economic and encouraging a new ethic of entrepreneurialism, new forms of governance and subsidized development in Xinjiang are drawing waves of rural Han migrant workers from other parts of China. In general terms, these new arrivals are faced with the same uncomfortable environment and ethnic difference that confronted Ai Qing, China’s preeminent revolutionary poet and father of rabble-rouser Ai Weiwei, when he arrived in the late 1950s. In fact, throughout China’s history new migrants to Northwest China have been forced to resolve whether Xinjiang can be …