Video: A Conversation with Tienchi Martin-Liao

by Sampsonia Way    /  October 16, 2013  / No comments

On June 8th City of Asylum/Pittsburgh hosted Exiled Voices of China and Tibet, a historically groundbreaking event that brought together exiled writers, musicians, and dissidents, including City of Asylum/Pittsburgh’s first writer-in-residence, Huang Xiang. Also participating in the event were writer Liao Yiwu, Independent Chinese Pen Centre president Tienchi Martin-Liao, Tibetan rock group Melong Band, and lawyer Chen Guangcheng. Throughout the day-long event, these people were able to speak out about their country and their experiences there, something they were unable to do in China.

Tienchi Martin-Liao was interviewed by Steven Sokol, president of the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh. During this interview she discussed the importance of the Tiananmen Square Massacre twenty-four years later, why China should not wait for a savior, and her work with imprisoned writer Liu Xiaobo.

Tienchi Martin-Liao is the president of the Independent Chinese PEN Center. Previously she worked at the Institute for Asian Affairs in Hamburg, Germany, and lectured at the Ruhr-University Bochum from 1985 to 1991. She became head of the Richard-Wilhelm Research Center for Translation in 1991 until she took a job in 2001 as director of the Laogai Research Foundation (LRF) to work on human rights issues. She was at LRF until 2009. Martin-Liao has served as deputy director of the affiliated China Information Center and was responsible for updating the Laogai Handbook and working on the Black Series, autobiographies of Chinese political prisoners and other human rights books. She was elected president of the Independent Chinese PEN Center in October 2009 and has daily contact with online journalists in China.

About the Author

Sampsonia Way is an online magazine sponsored by City of Asylum/Pittsburgh that seeks to protect and advocate for writers who may be endangered, to educate the public about threats to writers and literary expression, and to create a community in which endangered writers thrive and literary culture is a valued part of life.

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