The Writer’s Block: A Video Q&A with Chen Guangcheng
The Barefoot Lawyer is a memoir by Chen Guangcheng, a self-taught lawyer who became one of China’s most prominent political activists. Chen was born in a rural village of Dongshigu, China. Blinded by an illness in his infancy and illiterate until his late teens, he overcame enormous obstacles to advocate for tens of thousands of Chinese citizens, fighting for the rights of people with disabilities and women who endured forced sterilizations as a result of China’s one-child policy. Placed under house arrest after harassment and imprisonment by Chinese authorities, his daring escape in 2012 made national headlines.
In December 2015 Chen Guangcheng came to City of Asylum to read from his memoir. Before the reading, Sampsonia Way interviewed Chen about his writing process, his work giving voice to those who were denied representation, and the status of human and reproductive rights in China today.