Who says artists aren’t leaders? Standing up to power, speaking truth, making art despite assaults, attacks, and criminalization of his art, Liu Xiaobo deserves to be remembered and honored. He lived the life of a creative leader.
“This text is the last thing that Liu Xiaobo, the literary critic, poet, and human rights activist, wrote. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, two years after he was imprisoned for eleven years on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power.” His “crime” was to speak out for freedom of speech, basic human rights, and democratic elections. He died on July 13 of liver cancer in a hospital in Shenyang.
The Ms. G. referred to in Liu’s text was a close friend of his wife, Liu Xia. Ms. G. had asked Liu to contribute a preface to his wife’s forthcoming book of photographs, Accompanying Liu Xiaobo. Although barely able to write, he managed to scribble this love note….
Liu Xia is a poet and photographer. She married Xiaobo in 1996 when he was imprisoned in a “reeducation through labor” camp. His “crime” then was to have urged the government to find a peaceful way to unite mainland China with Taiwan, that is, to do so without the dire threats commonly issued by the People’s Republic of China.
“My praise could be a poison impossible to forgive:
Dim desk lamp…the first desktop computer you gave me, possibly a Pentium 586.
That room, so plain and cramped, always let us let love’s gaze crowd tightly in…” Read more…