Event Recap: Decades of Dissent Webinar with Badiucao
Communist and other repressive regimes are threatened by artwork because it is a form of free speech. Artists that live in communist regimes are perpetually risking their safety to publish their art and never know when a work will touch the “red line” resulting in dire consequences for the artists. Badiucao—a Chinese political cartoonist, artist, and rights activist—shared his story yesterday at a Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation Event.
Badiucao is constantly aware of the danger he is in by creating art that criticizes the Chinese communist government. His grandparents were filmmakers who were persecuted and killed by the same government for their films. For his safety, he published his work anonymously and kept his identity a secret. Three years ago, his identity was revealed to the Chinese government and since then he has received death threats. Badiucao refuses to let the Chinese Communist Party intimidate him and has continued to publish his work.
Badiucao hopes his political cartoons will help fuel protests to reform China and the freedom movement in Hong Kong. He believes that the world must not turn a blind eye to the situation in Hong Kong and that China must face international pressure and resistance to its actions.
Artists should not be censored because their work criticizes political leaders and government policies. The right to freedom of expression is a basic human right that should be guaranteed to all. Communist governments cannot tolerate free speech and expression because criticism of the regime endangers their oppressive control needed to retain power.