We have named this project “Forbidden Oasis” in order to symbolize Xinjiang’s ongoing state of information control, which has lasted throughout the past up to the present day. Despite significant international media coverage of the repression that Uyghurs endure, it remains challenging for the general population to truly grasp the difficulties and fears faced by the local population.

  Those with absolute power can without restraint establish an opaque environment so as to control its narrative. In today’s fast-paced world where global headlines shift every few seconds, human rights violations of this scale risk fading quickly from public memory. Even when victims attempt to share their suffering with the outside world, their marginalized cultural and ethnic identity often makes it difficult for them to obtain attention and aid.
  Besides the Chinese government’s censorship and disinformation efforts, global Islamophobia, mistrust, and a general insensitivity towards distant issues further prevent most people from empathizing with the experiences of these Turkic ethnic groups in China. This underscores the importance of documenting and sharing the real-life experiences of Xinjiang’s people under Chinese rule in recent years.
  We have chosen the graphic novel format since present-day filming in Xinjiang is fraught with surveillance and censorship, and illustrations offer better protection for witnesses’ identities. Each story is based on true personal experiences, with individual details modified to protect the storytellers. Some stories feature fictional main characters, drawing from a blend of different testimonies.
  Our project team comprises volunteers from diverse cultural backgrounds and fields. We are dedicated to highlighting human rights issues in Xinjiang, striving to provide a secure platform for victims and witnesses of China’s repressive and discriminatory policies.
  Our goal is to enable the transmission of individual voices and to remind people that Xinjiang’s challenges extend beyond what is captured in news headlines. Only sustained attention and follow-up actions can amplify victims’ voices and instill fear of consequences for oppressors.

THE ENGINEER (1)

 
We could release him, but if we discover that he has issues, you’re the one who will be arrested!
 
Few people would notice the subtle signs before a storm, or the seemingly ordinary moments of daily life in the city. It’s only when you look back that you realize how unusual they were.
 
Since learning about what happened in his hometown, Hesher (pseudonym) knew that he would not be able to stay silent any longer…

The facade of an extremely stable society couldn’t hide the underlying hostility and mistrust between people.

To be continued...

To be continued...