"I last saw my old professor Abduqadir Jalalidin at his Urumqi apartment
in late 2016. Over home-pulled laghman noodles and a couple of bottles
of Chinese liquor, we talked and laughed about everything from Uighur
literature to American politics. Several years earlier, when I had
defended my master’s thesis on Uighur poetry, Jalalidin, himself a
famous poet, had sat across from me and asked hard questions. Now we
were just friends.
It was a memorable evening, one I’ve thought about many times since
learning in early 2018 that Jalalidin had been sent, along with more
than a million other Uighurs, to China’s internment camps.
As with my other friends and colleagues who have disappeared into this
vast, secretive gulag, months stretched into years with no word from
Jalalidin. And then, late this summer, the silence broke. Even in the
camps, I learned, my old professor had continued writing poetry. Other
inmates had committed his new poems to memory and had managed to
transmit one of them beyond the camp gates."
Via Glyn Moody.
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics