All posts tagged: Wen Muye

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Wen Muye’s “Battle” and Uyghur Life in Chinese Cities

The short film Battle (with English subtitles) offers viewers a perspective of Uyghur life in major Chinese cities outside of Xinjiang. Having lived in Northwest China for extended periods of time, it was striking to see how evocative it is of life for Uyghurs outside of their homeland. Last week on a 24-hour layover in Shanghai I met five Uyghurs and one Uzbek. The first couple I met were at the base of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower bargaining for student priced tickets to the 220 yuan observation deck. The young man and his young girlfriend were from Uzbekistan and Ürümchi respectively; he was a non-matriculated student at a local Shanghai university and she lived in Shanghai with her family. Judging by the amount of jewelry and makeup she had on under her floral headscarf, she was just getting to know and impress her Uzbek suitor. They were an interesting pair; helping each other negotiate in a Chinese world. The next trio of Uyghurs I met were selling hashish in whispered voices on the streets …