***To see coverage of the protest on CTV news go to: http://montreal.ctv.ca/ – click to time 8:30 on the CTV News Video Player to see our SFT Canada member Chris Schwartz being interviewed.
The Montreal Tibetan community staged a dramatic die-in outside the Chinese Community Centre on Tuesday, May 5th to protest a Chinese exhibition contrasting Tibet’s supposed feudal past and China’s glorious rule today. Put on by the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa, this photo exhibition is part of an international series of shows in places like Jordan, Macao, Belarus, New York, Mexico, Japan and of course, Beijing.
Inviting local politicians, scholar and Chinese people, the Chinese government has waged a campaign to convince the Chinese people and the world of the legitimacy of its brutal rule over Tibet. All this grandstanding while they arrest, torture and kill Tibetans who speak out against Chinese rule.
In terms of propaganda, it’s a rather simple scenario, as the exhibit consists of a series of laminated billboards, juxtaposing “the dark era” (literally, in black and white) with the brightness (in colour) of the current era in Tibet.
Yet, it is not so much the photos that are troublesome, as are the subtitles and subtext of the entire episode. On the bottom of one picture of a nomadic Tibetan living in a tent, the visitor is presented the statement whether this tent could even be considered a home. While under another, the visitor is told that in old feudal Tibet, it was the custom to present the Dalai Lama with human blood and intestines on the occasion of his birthday.
Montreal’s Tibetan community and supporters set out to create images which show the true reality of Chinese rule over Tibet. By lying down in the middle of China town and staging a die-in, the community evoked images of the bloody crackdown inside of Tibet that was completely erased from the Chinese exhibition.
We’ve heard rumours that this exhibit is set to travel across the country. We strongly recommend you speak out in opposition to it if it comes to your community in the near future. Feel to contact SFT if you see it in your community, and need some ideas for something creative to counter China’s lies. Reach us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website: http://www.sftcanada.org