Between Fresh Blood And Starlight
In mid-April 1989, thousands of Chinese citizens poured into Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, mourning the death of prodemocracy leader Hu Yaobang. Over the next seven weeks, the peaceful, student-led demonstration swelled to more than 100,000 people—one of the biggest confrontations to the Chinese Communist regime since 1949.
Late on June 4, the army entered the capital fortified with tanks and fired upon the unarmed protestors. No one knows how many unarmed protestors were killed and wounded.
For many Westerners, the sight of a single man facing a row of army tanks is a lasting memory of the massacre at Tiananmen Square. But how do those Chinese who supported the pro-democracy movement twenty years ago feel about the legacy of Tiananmen Square?
In the United States, there are three programs that provide refuge for persecuted writers abroad: City of Asylum Las Vegas, Ithaca City of Asylum and City of Asylum/Pittsburgh. All three have given sanctuary to writers from China who were in the country during the massacre at Tiananmen Square. Sampsonia Way invited the writers to reflect upon China then and now.