Digital art mocks criticism over Xinjiang

Reuters
A ditigal illustration by a Chinese satirical artist mocking Western governments, media and businesses critical of labor conditions in Xinjiang has gone viral on social media.
Reuters
Digital art mocks criticism over Xinjiang
Reuters

A digital illustration titled “Blood Cotton Initiative” by Chinese artist Wuheqilin.

A ditigal illustration by a prominent Chinese satirical artist mocking Western governments, media and businesses critical of labor conditions in Xinjiang has gone viral on China’s social media.

The art by the artist who goes by the name Wuheqilin, referring to a one-horned Chinese mythical beast, shows two figures with white pointed hoods interviewing a scarecrow in a field of cotton and black slaves.

One of the journalists holds up a microphone with a logo that looks similar to “BBC News.”

An illustration reads: “Can you tell us what unfair treatment you have suffered, Miss Scarecrow?” “I’ve been sexually assaulted and abused,” a placard says.

Steadying the cross on which the scarecrow is held is a hooded figure wearing a Minneapolis police uniform, a reference to the police officer who pressed his knee on the neck of a dying George Floyd last year.

Earlier this year, BBC reported that women in the camps had been subject to rape, sexual abuse and torture.

The Chinese foreign ministry said at the time that the BBC report was “without factual basis” and the people interviewed by the BBC have been “proved multiple times” to be “actors disseminating false information.”

Last week, Swedish clothing retailer H&M faced a public backlash in China when social media users circulated a statement the company made last year announcing it would no longer source cotton from Xinjiang.

Other brands found to have made similar statement include Nike and adidas.

In Wuheqilin’s illustration, which has garnered 1 million “likes,” the blood-red letters “HM” can be seen carved onto the trunk of a tree, while in the background is a black antique cotton scale that looks similar to Nike’s swoosh logo.

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