Speaking About China

Since 2010, Ian Johnson has been interviewing China's leading thinkers, activists, artists, filmmakers, and authors about the future of their country. These interviews document a period of growing tension in China as the leadership has turned its back on the political opening that seemed possible a decade earlier, when citizen demands for more participation and accountability were still growing.

In this series, Ian Johnson travels around China to talk to people who are trying to shape China's future. Most are not "classic" dissidents or insiders loyal to the Party, but people in between—citizens with independent ideas and thoughts who try to take public action, either through their works or speech. Although the government still discourages this form of civil society in China, their voices can still be heard.

‘The Biggest Taboo’: An Interview with Qiu Zhijie

One of China’s most influential artists is forty-eight-year-old Qiu Zhijie. A native of southern China’s Fujian province, Qiu studied art in the eastern city of Hangzhou before moving to Beijing in 1994 to pursue a career as a contemporary artist. Grantee Ian Johnson interviews Qiu in his studio.

China's Hidden Massacres

Put your butcher's sword down! Latest in my series of Q&As with leading Chinese thinkers about China's past, present and future. I traveled to rural China with Tan to look at the scene of a genocide.

Speaking About China

Ian Johnson goes to a remote Chinese province to write about an unknown case of genocide in the Cultural Revolution, a case that helps broaden the scope of Mao-era killings.

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