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Huang Xiang and City of Asylum

By Rohan Kamicheril

Head on over to You Tube and take a look at this video by Jose Muniain on City of Asylum, Pittsburgh and poet Huang Xiang, a former artist in residence at the Sampsonia Way centre. The video highlights the work that the Cities of Refuge projects do in providing safe harbour to artists whose lives or works are threatened in their home countries. The interviews with Xiang are powerful and—for those forced to watch the video without the benefit of sound—theatrical and energetic (not to mention subtitled). Xiang talks about the hostile government reaction to his work in China and makes a moving case for the artist's freedom of expression:

I am a shout

From the raging years piled around me

I am crushed diamond

A sun resides in every tiny piece.

The video was recently screened at the Pittsburgh Film Festival and will be shown again later this month in Madrid. You can find out more about the Cities of Refuge project at their website, or look up information about the Pittsburgh Centre at its homepage.

Published Nov 16, 2007   Copyright 2007 Rohan Kamicheril

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