Edith Roux. Sous silence, 2011. HD Video. 16mins. Video Still. Image courtesy the Artist.
‘Sous Silence’ was filmed in Xinjiang, an autonomous Uighur province in Northwestern China. The Turkish-speaking, Muslim Uighurs have been living in this region for a long time. For several years they have been undergoing the internal colonization of the Han (Chinese). The old city centre of Kashgar, with its traditional architecture, has been destroyed to make room for new developments. These urban changes are experienced by the Uighurs as a threat to their culture. The removal of bricks from destroyed houses, retrieved to be resold, or to rebuild elsewhere, punctuates the video. The sound of craftsmen’s hammers rings out in the city like an assertion of Uighur identity. ‘Sous Silence’ makes reference to the verbal censorship undergone by the Uighurs, who are living under the authoritarian Chinese government.