Artists and Opinion Leaders Mourn the Death of Hong Kong

The chill grip of self-censorship has taken hold in Hong Kong.

The News Lens
Date: 2018/11/19
By: By James Durston, Global Voices

Credit: RTHK screenshot via HKFP

Attempts to block a controversial Chinese novelist from speaking at the Hong Kong International Literary Festival have raised fears about the future of artistic expression in Hong Kong.

Ma Jian, whose books have been banned in mainland China since 1987, and who has been living in exile in the UK since 2011, was due to appear on Nov. 10 to take part in one debate about Hong Kong literature, and in another to discuss his latest novel “China Dream.”

The novel takes a political swing at Chinese president Xi Jinping and was described by publisher Penguin Books as “a biting satire of totalitarianism that reveals what happens to a nation when it is blinded by materialism and governed by violence and lies.” The book’s Chinese version will be published in Taiwan in 2019.

Ma has not found a publisher in Hong Kong, but this comes as no surprise. In 2015, five Hong Kong booksellers vanished and were revealed to have been detained by Chinese authorities. One of those booksellers, Guo Minhai, is still being held, according to Amnesty International. All five were known for carrying books that covered politically sensitive topics.    [FULL  STORY]

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