All posts tagged: Love

Love and Fear among Rural Uyghur Youth during the “People’s War”

This is the second of a two-part series that first appeared in Youth Circulations . The series, written by Darren Byler, with photographers Nicola Zolin and Eleanor Moseman, documents how  young  Uyghurs mourn those who have been detained or disappeared and fear that they will lose still more of their loved ones.   Since the beginning of the “People’s War on Terror” in May 2014, the everyday life of Uyghurs has been transformed by the presence of intense security measures, regular home invasions, and the mass detention of thousands of young Uyghurs suspected of so-called religious extremism. Although many young Uyghurs are simply interested in practicing a form of pious religiosity, or what in other contexts might be referred to as a Hanafi form of Sunni Islam, the state has determined that this is a threat to the sovereignty of the Chinese nation. In order to exert its authority, the state has required that Uyghur Muslims practice their faith only as permitted by social workers and police monitors. As education policies and religious regulations demonstrate, the state would prefer that Uyghurs embrace …

Abdulla, King of Uyghur Women

This is the third post in a multi-part series on Abdulla Abdurehim hosted by The Art of Life in Northwest China Abdulla, the undisputed king of Uyghur pop, receives 1000s of love letters from Uyghur women. According to those who traffic in insider knowledge of Uyghur models of masculinity, Abdulla’s effect on women first became a subject of manly discussion in the early 2000s when his song “Ranjima” was released. As you will see in the linked music video of that song, the camera lingers on a young woman while Abdulla, clad in a bad-ass Harley-Davidson t-shirt, crones lines such as “Don’t be sorry, let’s just be friends” – a clear allusion to a failed illicit affair with the distracted young woman. Young Ranjima swoons. Abdulla basks in love letters which rain down around him from his female admirers. Despite this direct appeal to his sexuality in the images of the song, Abdulla carries on a line from Sufi poets who were devoted to “one true thing.” He sings: “Our souls cannot share the same flame.”  Thirteen years …