Making sense of the Cultural Revolution in Xinjiang : cross-border narratives
2016 International Conference on Sounds, Images, and Texts on China's Periphery
Hong Kong Baptist University
On the basis of research in Kazakhstan and Russian state archives and of life story interviews of Qazaq and Uyghur migrants to Kazakhstan, the paper delves on memories of the Cultural Revolution in Xinjiang by Qazaq and Uyghur participants. The paper explores the creation of narratives of the violent events in Northern Xinjiang between 1966 and 1970, and the attempt made by former participants in framing them into the longer history of cross-border political, social, and cultural interactions between Xinjiang and Soviet Central Asia from the period of the Eastern Turkestan Republic, though the Great Leap Forward, to the closure of the formerly porous border between China and the USSR as a consequence of the Sino-Soviet split. The paper will argue that cross-border imaginaries fed by both previous continuous connection and recent sudden rupture in the Turkestan/Xinjiang borderland, in the context of the global decolonization drive, framed the hopes of the younger generation of Qazaq and Uyghur students who were at the forefront of the upheavals of the Cultural Revolution in Urumqi and in the Yili region.
Pianciola, N. (2016, September). Making sense of the Cultural Revolution in Xinjiang: cross-border narratives. Paper presented at the 2016 International Conference on Sounds, Images, and Texts on China's Periphery, Hong Kong.