SXSW 2024

Witness Poetry: Uyghur Poetry and Resilience


Poetry of witness served as a vital tool for expression in Uyghur continuity, echoing its historical struggles against colonialism, showcasing its resilience in confronting repression. However, since 2016, nearly all intellectuals and their works vanished as China began its’s ongoing genocide against the Uyghurs. Despite this, poetry stands tall as a form of resilience, both in the homeland and in exile. How has poetry connected different generations of Uyghur experiences across space and time? How has it been used as a tool against the dictatorship while preserving the cultural value that the CCP wants to tarnish so vehemently?

Related Media


  1. Learn about the Uyghurs and their resilience through their rich culture, music, literature, to break the image of Uyghurs as an oppressed community.
  2. To raise awareness about the plight of imprisoned intellectuals, to amplify their voice, and uncover their stories.
  3. To reflect on the wider violence that is happening in the Uyghur Region as it is portrayed through the artistic expression of Uyghur artists.


  • Munawwar Abdulla, Research Assistant, Harvard University
  • Ahmatjan Osman, writer, poet, independent writer
  • Elise Anderson, Senior Program Officer, Asia Programs, Freedom House
  • Jewher Ilham, Forced Labor Project Coordinator, Spokesperson for the Coalition to End Uyghur Forced Labour, Worker Rights Consortium


Kim Helptim, Legal Policy Intern, Human Rights Foundation

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Culture
  • Track 2
  • Level: Beginner

Add Comments

comments powered by Disqus

SXSW reserves the right to restrict access to or availability of comments related to PanelPicker proposals that it considers objectionable.