Urban Art of Uyghur Resistance in Marseille

Published October 10th, 2021 - 09:54 GMT
 In Marseille, Mahn Kloix pays tribute to the Uyghur resistance
In Marseille, Mahn Kloix pays tribute to the Uyghur resistance (AFP)
Uyghurs now are clearly victims of genocidal policies through internment of all types.

China’s campaign of repression against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang is brutal even by the standards of the worst authoritarian regimes. 

Since 2016 the mistreatment of Uyghurs, a Turkic Muslim minority living in their homeland in northwest China, by the People's Republic of China has been taken to extreme levels. 

Women have found themselves the targets of some of Beijing’s cruelest tactics.


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Women in China's "re-education" camps for Uighurs have been systematically raped, sexually abused, and tortured, according to detailed new accounts obtained by the BBC.

One of them is Tursunay Ziawudun. She spent nine months inside China's vast and secretive system of internment camps in the Xinjiang region. 

She inspired artist Mahn Kloix, who pays tribute to the Uyghur resistance.

On the 200 m2 wall in Marseille, a look now dominates the city, signed by the Marseille street artist Mahn Kloix: that of Tursunay Ziawudun, an Uyghur who testified about her ordeal in the “camps” Chinese.

No message beyond this name and face, which the artist painted from an image from a BBC documentary where this 43-year-old woman recounts the rapes she suffered in one of the “camps” set up by the Chinese regime in the western region of Xinjiang, first in 2017, then in 2018.


"Under an almost transparent lace veil, the look is soft. The hand resting on the cheek, Tursunay Ziawudun seems to "look towards the future": "One of my challenges. It is to speak about negative things without falling into the negative, always give an image of hope," explains Mahn Kloix to AFP.

Mahn Kloix is a street artist from Paris, now living and working in Marseille. He grew up in a family of activists of the social Left. In 2003 he entered Gobelins, l’école de l’image, so as to come into contact with graphics and applied arts, in classes considered as real group workshops. The young artist also spent part of his studies in Besançon.


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He pays tribute to young protesters in Istanbul, Tunisia, and Athens by conveying their similarities in his works. His portraits are a leitmotif to highlight human and environmental struggles.

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