THE POLITICS OF (NOT) REMEMBERING THE SICHUAN EARTHQUAKE
Profile of an activist determined not to forget.
I met activist Tan Zuoren three days after he returned to Chengdu from his latest "forced travel." In a series of exclusive interviews and chats, he shared with me details of how he continues to petition the Chinese state for an investigation into the deaths of thousands of schoolchildren on 5/12/2008. He's not alone.
In addition to Tan, I interviewed tens of parents all across the region of Sichuan hit by the deadly earthquake, who all told me similar stories about the political -- and economic -- costs of remembering:
"REMEMBERING, in the People’s Republic, is often a political act, and in the aftermath of the Wenchuan earthquake, those who dare hold on to their own memories in lieu of the state-sanctioned one have been treated as criminals."
Read online, and also check out my other Sichuan Earthquake coverage:
Precious but Precarious: Wenchuan’s Second Families for Sixth Tone
Rebuilt Sichuan Town Struggling Ten Years After the Earthquake for Nikkei Asian Review