During the Feb. 4, 2022 opening of the Beijing Olympics, many people did not see footage of the Opening Ceremony. Instead they saw film of a red armband wearing communist security guard dragging away a Dutch reporter covering the event. It was the perfect glimpse of Olympic Games held by a totalitarian regime.
For at least a year Chinese dissidents and human rights activists around the world have called for a boycott of the Beijing Olympics hosted by the dictatorial Chinese Communist Party (CCP), I supported that call and the reasons are obvious. The CCP is the brutal colonial master of Tibet, it strangled democracy in Hong Kong, it carries out genocide against the Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region of China, and it threatens a full scale invasion of democratic Taiwan. The CCP unashamedly denies free speech, a free press, and free elections to the people of China. It persecutes Christians and other faiths with impunity, and relentlessly jails untold thousands of dissidents.
The CCP unleashed Covid-19 upon the world—intentionally or not, by locking down all domestic air traffic internally by the end of Jan. 2020, while keeping air flight travel open to foreign destinations until the end of March, 2020. Thousands of unsuspecting Chinese tourists undoubtably infected with Covid, flew to Western cities; Rome, Madrid, Paris, London, New York, Los Angeles.
And let us not forget that the Chinese Communist Party massacred 1000’s of unarmed pro-democracy demonstrators during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989; since then the CCP has only grown more despotic. The CCP runs the most advanced surveillance system in the world, outdoing anything George Orwell wrote about in his novel, 1984. The CCP uses millions of facial recognition cameras all across China to identify individuals, read their emotions, and monitor their every move. Other high-tech tools intercept smartphones, giving the CCP complete access to everything on a phone. These invasive technologies are now focused on the Olympic athletes from 90 nations who came to Beijing.
As an artist I take special notice of the shameful conditions hoisted upon my fellow artists under CCP rule. Those who criticize communism find themselves in grave danger, Ai Weiwei is a good example. Lauded by the Western art world, China’s controlled media regards Ai Weiwei as little more than a criminal. The regime tenaciously attacked him, threatened his life and wellbeing, bulldozed his studio, arrested and imprisoned him without charges, conjured trumped-up charges of tax evasion against him, and seized his passport—forbidding him overseas travel. When the CCP eventually issued him an international passport he fled his homeland to relocate in Berlin, Germany.
Because the persecuted Ai Weiwei has become a non-person in Communist China, it is indeed a great irony that he was the artistic consultant behind the design of Beijing’s National Stadium, the “Bird Nest Stadium,” where the Beijing Olympics are being held. On Feb. 2, 2022, Japan’s Kyodo News conducted an interview with Ai Weiwei, who expressed sorrow that the CCP is using his Bird Nest design for propaganda purposes. Ai noted that Joe Biden’s diplomatic boycott was “meaningless” and “wouldn’t have any effect at all, whether on China or on Western society.”
Joe Biden announced that his administration would conduct a “diplomatic boycott” of the Beijing Olympics, meaning, he will send US athletes to compete in the games, but he will not send an official US delegation. The initial response from the Chinese Communist Party was a belly laugh. Hu Xijin, the chief editor of the CCP mouthpiece Global Times, stated: “Why the fuss? If US officials don’t come, let it be. China didn’t invite them anyway. Only super narcissistic people will regard their absence as a powerful boycott.”
Soon after the CCP issued a more ominous statement through its Foreign Ministry: “Out of ideological bias and based on lies and rumors, the US is trying to disrupt the Beijing Winter Olympics. This will only expose its sinister intention and further erode its moral authority and credibility. The wrong move of the US has undermined the foundation and atmosphere for China-US sports exchanges and Olympic cooperation. It has shot itself in the foot. The US should understand the grave consequences of its move.”
Which brings me back to the subject of the CCP Olympics and my focus on two artists, the German John Heartfield (1891-1968) and the Chinese Badiucao—exiled from China and now living in Australia. Both reacted strongly to the distortion of the Olympics by tyrants, and left us artworks documenting the savagery of the strongmen.
John Heartfield was one of the first to successfully use photomontage as a means of artistic communication. A type of collage made by merging dissimilar photos together to form a narrative, it was a medium Germany’s anti-art Dadaist movement had been toying with. In 1916 Helmut Franz Josef Herzfeld anglicized his name to John Heartfield as a protest against the anti-British sentiment then sweeping Germany. In 1917 Heartfield joined Berlin’s Club Dada, a notorious brood known for inciting provocative aesthetic disruptions. In 1918 Heartfield would join the newly founded Communist Party of Germany.
Heartfield is best remembered for the photomontages he created for Berlin’s Workers Illustrated Newspaper, a hard-left magazine published between 1924 and 1933. By 1930 it became the most widely read socialist pictorial newspaper in the country, with over 350,000 readers. George Grosz, Käthe Kollwitz, and playwrights George Bernard Shaw and Maxim Gorki contributed to the paper. The final issue of Workers Illustrated Newspaper published in Germany came out on March 5, 1933, as Hitler was consolidating his grip on power. The Nazi SS raided Heartfield’s Berlin studio in 1933, he escaped by leaping from his balcony to make his way to Czechoslovakia on foot. The publication also moved to Czechoslovakia where its readership fell to 12,000. When the Nazis invaded and occupied that country in 1939, the publication fled to Paris, France. When the Nazis invaded Paris on June 14, 1940, the paper ceased publication.
In the postwar period Heartfield, still a loyal communist, moved to Stalinist East Berlin where he died on April 26, 1968. Whatever one may think of Heartfield’s communist politics, his stridently anti-Nazi works are historic for documenting and condemning the rise of Hitler and Germany’s slide into barbarism. Regrettably, some of his works remain all too relevant today, like his bitter parody poster Program of the Berlin Olympics 1936, published in the Nov. 1935 issue of Workers Illustrated Newspaper. The newspaper was smuggled into Germany from Czechoslovakia.
Program of the Berlin Olympics 1936 mocked the Nazi Olympiad by illustrating fictional Nazi sporting events to be held in Berlin’s newly constructed Olympic Stadium. It is hard to imagine the type of courage it took to publish, distribute, and possess the satiric graphic. Workers Illustrated Newspaper featured it as a centerfold poster. Under its bold headline the poster featured eight excruciating photomontage images. I will feature two of those graphics in this essay.
Ax Swinging depicted black robed judges hurling axes. After Hitler took power in 1933, the nazification of the justice system began. Professionals involved in jurisprudence were required to join the National Socialist League of German Jurists. One of the first antisemitic laws passed by the Nazis banned Jewish lawyers, judges, and other professionals from joining the court system. Those not aliened with the Nazi party were excluded from the League. Dissidents, political opponents, Christians, Jews, ethnic minorities and others faced arbitrary arrest, torture, imprisonment in concentration camps, and extermination at the hands of the Nazi police state, and the courts were part of the death machine.
Given that the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China describes the country as “a socialist state under the people’s democratic dictatorship,” the Chinese Communist Party clearly is in control of jurisprudence. Today it is China’s police state that conducts endless mass surveillance of the people. Dissidents, political opponents, Christians, Muslims and others face arbitrary arrest, torture, and imprisonment in concentration camps run by the CCP.
Spear Throwing depicts Hermann Göring chucking a spear at the crucified Christ. Immediately after seizing power in 1933, Hitler and the Nazis began persecuting Christians and Catholics. At the time two thirds of Germans were Protestant and one third were Catholic. Believing the church was a threat to their absolute control, the Nazis began the Kirchenkampf (church struggle), a campaign to absorb and nazify Christian churches, and suppress churches that resisted.
The Nazis established the German Evangelical Church (Deutsche Evangelische Kirche or Reichskirche), which replaced the Bible with Hitler’s Mein Kampf and substituted the Christian cross with the swastika. By 1936 the Nazis began taking down Christian cross in all churches, Christian prayers were being replaced with Nazi sanctified pagan rituals. Churches, monasteries, convents, and religious schools were closed. Many priests were assassinated by the Nazis. Thousands of Christian and Catholic clergy, nuns, and monks were arrested and sent to concentration camps. By 1940 the Nazis had established a barracks at Dachau concentration camp to hold clergymen, there were 2,720 of them; the overwhelming majority were Roman Catholics.
Xinhua, official news agency of the Chinese Communist Party, reported that President Xi Jinping addressed a National Religious Affairs Meeting on Dec. 4, 2021. He said religious leaders must push “efforts to keep enhancing the recognition of the motherland, the Chinese nation, the Chinese culture, the Chinese Communist Party, and socialism with Chinese characteristics among religious personages and believers.” It was also reported that Xi “demanded efforts to rally vast religious believers around the Communist Party and government,” and that Chinese Christian churches must “cultivate core socialist values.”
The Chinese Communist Party has torn down churches and confiscated Bibles, and it has removed crosses from thousands of church steeples. President Xi has directed the Communist Party to “resolutely guard against overseas infiltrations via religious means.” The faithful are required to attend government registered churches where sermons are edited by the CCP. As a result millions of Christians attend underground unregulated churches—which the authorities consider “illegal.” The communists are waging a war against China’s 100 million Christians. In other words the CCP is waging its own Kirchenkampf, with Chinese characteristics of course.
After creating his Program of the Berlin Olympics 1936, Heartfield created two more photomontage works on the subject of the Nazi Olympics, the 1936 Berlin Summons to the Olympic Games, and Come And See Germany! These were published respectively by Workers Illustrated Newspaper in June and July 1936, just weeks before the August 1, 1936 Opening Ceremony of the Nazi Olympics.
Berlin Summons to the Olympic Games depicted a bone breaking meat cleaver with a small embossed swastika emblazoned on its bloody, scarred blade. The Nazi axe is entwined with the iconic five interlaced rings that are the symbol of the Olympics. At bottom of the poster are the words: “Reply to this summons: the Olympics special issue of AIZ next week (AIZ being short for Arbeiter-Illustrierte-Zeitung, the German for the Workers Illustrated Newspaper).
The original Olympic symbol was first presented in 1913, the icon was meant to represent the five continents and the meeting of athletes from throughout the world. With his 1938 graphic Heartfield was desperately saying Hitler had turned the dream of the Olympics into a nightmare, an obfuscation for carnage and holocaust. In retrospect, Heartfield was absolutely correct. With what we now know about the outrageous bloody crimes committed by the Nazi regime, does anyone today think it was a good idea the US participated in Hitler’s charade? Let me reframe the question, who thinks it is a good idea to participate in the Beijing Olympics, hosted by the Chinese Communist Party as it actively engages in committing genocide?
Come And See Germany! was published by Workers Illustrated Newspaper in a special edition assailing Hitler’s 1936 Olympics. The edition featured a two-page map that showed the location of Nazi prisons, torture centers, and concentration camps located throughout Germany. Come And See Germany! was an especially savage attack. It featured Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels leading international athletes with a leash attached to the Olympic rings in their noses. The text was in English and German, with the bottom portion reading: “The point of it all… Olympic Guests — forward march!”
Goebbels was Hitler’s most loyal follower. He joined the Nazi Party in 1924 and soon became leader of its Berlin branch. In 1926 Goebbels called Berlin “the reddest city in Europe besides Moscow” (I covered this period in my essay The Truth About Babylon Berlin). When given control over the Nazi SA (Storm Detachment) and the SS (Protection Squadron), he succeeded in nazifying Berlin by intimidation, riot, and murder. He played a key role in planning the 1936 Olympics, and in 1937 organized the Degenerate Art Exhibit (see my essay Paul Fuhrmann’s “War Profiteer”). But Goebbels was born with a deformed right foot and had to wear a metal brace and a special shoe on his shortened leg in order to walk. Heartfield gleefully depicted the right foot of Goebbels as cloven hoofed, a blunt way of saying Goebbels was Satanic.
Despite Heartfield’s failings, his anti-Nazi photomontage works were a heroic effort to inform the uninformed about the jackbooted thugs who would launch genocide in Germany, but who would also eventually drown the world in blood. Heartfield’s powerful voice was barely heard in the United States; few listened, even fewer acted. However, the American cartoonist Jerry Doyle was one of those who got John Heartfield’s message.
Jerry Doyle was a leading US political cartoonist whose works appeared in the Philadelphia Record and the Philadelphia Daily News from the 1930s to the early 1980s. Doyle was a working class Irish-Catholic aligned with the Democratic Party. He was an anti-communist classical liberal, the kind not found today. He was one of the very first American cartoonists to attack German fascism and Hitler’s rise. In his cartoon The Modern Mercury, Doyle lambasted the idea of an Olympiad hosted by Hitler and his Nazi regime.
The Modern Mercury cartoon depicts the shadow of Mercury—messenger of the gods, in the background bearing the label: “Olympic ideals of sportsmanship and international good will.” The foreground image depicts Adolph Hitler as a torch bearing athlete carrying a banner reading “Intolerance and discrimination.” His sports jersey reads “1936 Olympics.” Instead of Mercury’s caduceus, Hitler carries a shaft decorated with a swastika upon which a poisonous snake has wrapped itself. Published a year before the German Olympics, the cartoon appeared in The Philadelphia Record, Dec 7, 1935. Imagine such a cartoon rebuking the 2022 Beijing Olympics being published in a liberal newspaper today!
On Feb. 3, 2022, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), testified at the Congressional Executive Commission on China regarding human rights abuses in China. Pelosi told the hearing: “I would say to our athletes, you’re there to compete–do not risk incurring the anger of the Chinese government because they are ruthless. I know there is a temptation on the part of some to speak out while they are there. I respect that, but I also worry about what the Chinese government might do to their reputations, to their families.”
Madame Speaker enunciated the very reason why the US should have boycotted the Beijing Olympics—the ruthlessness of the Chinese Communist Party. Its abhorrence of democratic governance and its merciless oppression of the Chinese people; its pitiless cruelty toward Tibet and Hong Kong. Its truculence regarding Taiwan, its heavy-handed ill will towards Christians, and its barbarous treatment of the Uyghur Muslims.
But Madame Speaker’s advice to US athletes is exactly what the Chinese Communist Party wants to hear—a high ranking US politician saying that we should fear the power of the People’s Republic of China. When have Americans ever been told not to spit in the face of tyrants? To the CCP Pelosi’s words were an expression of weakness and faintheartedness, they were no doubt emboldened by her utterances.
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Massachusetts) who leads the Congressional Executive Commission on China, said this about the Beijing Olympics: “If given a choice, I believe no athlete would want to compete in a country committing genocide and crimes against humanity. But that is what they are forced to do because of the feckless IOC and its corporate sponsors.”
Representative McGovern is wrong, US athletes were not forced to participate because of the “feckless IOC and its corporate sponsors.” They participate because President Quid pro Joe simply decided not to boycott the games. We wouldn’t want to incur “the anger of the Chinese government” now would we? If the United States had withdrawn from the Beijing Olympics, it would have set an example for other nations to follow. Instead Biden handed communist China—the biggest violator of human rights in the entire world, an enormous propaganda victory. Is that Build Back Better?
Last but not least is the Chinese artist named Badiucao. He was born in Shanghai, China in 1986. Pushed into exile by the Chinese Communist Party, he now lives in Australia. He has gone through great personal risk to openly defy the CCP with his art. His graphics, largely created with digital media like photoshop, are clean and crisp with bright bold colors—they are more akin to editorial cartooning and 60‘s style modernist advertisements than fine art. But there is something oddly reminiscent about his graphic approach; it possesses a faint aesthetic link to the work of some German Expressionists from the 1930s and 1940s. It also hints at the propaganda posters of China’s Cultural Revolution, albeit with heaps of sardonic humor.
In 2021 Badiucao received the Václav Havel International Prize for Creative Dissent. The award is given to those “who exhibit bravery, creativity, and artistic innovation in standing up against dictatorships.” Havel was the Czech dissident playwright that played a substantial role in bringing down Czechoslovakia’s Soviet satellite regime during the Velvet Revolution of 1989 (you can read about Havel’s involvement in the revolution at the end of my essay, Toppling Rock Icons like Confederate Statues). At the 2021 award ceremony Badiucao delivered a moving public address that everyone should listen to.
I discovered Badiucao’s art when closely watching the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong that took place in 2019 and 2020. The artist created wonderfully provocative street art that extolled the demonstrators and lambasted the CCP-aligned police for crushing the Hong Kongers. One of Badiucao’s digital images that caught my eye was titled Resistance. Like many of the artist’s graphics it has a minimalist aesthetic, but also undertones of classical Chinese graphic art.
Resistance depicts a protestor in a yellow raincoat, wearing a construction helmet and gas mask, carrying a yellow umbrella and lobbing back a police tear gas canister; the design is a stunning abstraction. Hong Kong protestors wore raincoats and carried umbrellas to protect themselves from the pepper spray and tear gas of the CCP-aligned police. Umbrellas were also used to prevent being identified by the over 50,000 closed circuit television cameras that surveil Hong Kong. The color scheme of the artwork is yellow to honor of the pro-democracy activist Marco Leung, 35. On June 15, 2019, wearing a yellow raincoat, Leung was hanging an anti-CCP banner on the 4th floor of a building when he fell to his death; yellow became the color of the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement.
Another of my favorite Badiucao graphics is Boycott Mulan. He made the digital artwork to support the boycott campaign aimed at Disney’s 2020 live action Mulan—a remake of the studio’s 1998 animated Mulan film. Boycott Mulan was a simple graphic with a complex message. The first thing one thinks of is “Tank Man.”
He was the hero who stopped a column of communist army tanks on their way to Tiananmen Square after the “People’s Liberation Army” (PLA) massacred thousands of pro-democracy activists in the square. But Badiucao gave Tank Man a yellow umbrella, a subtle message that the same brigands who crushed liberty in Tiananmen Square would do the same thing in Hong Kong.
In Badiucao’s Boycott Mulan the tank driver is not a PLA soldier, but the warrior princess from Disney’s 1998 animated Mulan. She waves her sword and scolds the Hong Konger Tank Man. At the height of Hong Kong’s protests when CCP-aligned police were brutally beating demonstrators, Liu Yifei, who played Mulan in the live action film, posted to China’s Weibo social media platform: “I support the Hong Kong police.” People’s Daily—the official mouthpiece of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, republished her remark. Liu Yifei’s co-star Donnie Yen, who played Commander Tung in the live action Mulan, shared tweets calling the Hong Kong protestors “terrorists.” Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement immediately called for a boycott of the live action Mulan, and Badiucao created his graphic in support.
But there is one more twist to Badiucao’s Boycott Mulan. Disney choose to film its live action Mulan in China’s Xinjiang province, the same area where the CCP has interned some one million Uyghur Muslims in concentration camps where they are subjected to torture and forced labor. In the camps Uyghur women are made to endure forced abortion and sterilization by the hundreds of thousands—in other words, cultural genocide. Making matters worse, in the credits of their live action Mulan film, Disney thanked the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda department of Xinjiang province for allowing the studio to film in the region!
Disney Studio is not the only US film company that colludes with the CCP. In 2020 Pen America published an extensive, eye-opening report titled Made in Hollywood, Censored by Beijing. It detailed the CCP’s influence over the US film industry, and how US movie studios submit to communist censors in order to gain assess to China’s huge box office market. Here are two quotes from the report:
“As US film studios compete for the opportunity to access Chinese audiences, many are making difficult and troubling compromises on free expression: changing the content of films intended for international—including American—audiences; engaging in self-censorship; agreeing to provide a censored version of a movie for screening in China; and in some instances directly inviting Chinese government censors onto their film sets to advise them on how to avoid tripping the censors’ wires. These concessions to the power of the Chinese market have happened mostly quietly, with little attention and, often, little debate.”
“Beijing has sent a clear message to the filmmaking world, that filmmakers who criticize China will be punished, but that those who play ball with its censorship strictures will be rewarded. The Chinese Communist Party, in fact, holds major sway over whether a Hollywood movie will be profitable or not—and studio executives know it. The result is a system in which Beijing bureaucrats can demand changes to Hollywood movies—or expect Hollywood insiders to anticipate and make these changes, unprompted—without any significant hue or cry over such censorship.”
It should also be mentioned that US companies Airbnb, Intel, Visa, Procter & Gamble, and Coca-Cola are official sponsors of the 2022 Beijing Olympics; by doing so they became apologists for the human rights abuses committed by the Chinese Communist Party.
Badiucao and I definitely have one thing in common, a deep and abiding respect for the German Expressionist artist Käthe Kollwitz. Both of us were profoundly influenced by the social realism of Kollwitz. I was blessed to visit the Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln in Germany some years ago, taking in the massive collection was the thrill of a lifetime. While I veer closer to Kollwitz in terms of my commitment to figurative realism in painting, drawing, and prints, Badiucao has absorbed Kollwitz’s artistic philosophy that art should also tell the story of common people. As Badiucao has put it, art can be “a voice for the voiceless.”
And so this article comes full circle with an examination of what I believe is Badiucao’s most important work, a suite of five digital drawings titled Beijing 2022. I consider his suite comparable to John Heartfield’s photomontage works against the 1936 Berlin Olympics hosted by Adolph Hitler and the Nazis. This is certainly true on a historic level. With extremely dark acerbic humor, Heartfield and Badiucao captured consequential events with their images. They exposed the truth behind Olympic games hosted by dictators. Heartfield’s conceptions were foreboding portents of a conflagration that actually came to be. I have the terrible feeling that Badiucao’s Beijing 2022 is a harbinger for the disaster that looms on the horizon. Friends, there is still time… but the hour is getting late.
This article will close with an examination of Badiucao’s five digital drawings from the Beijing 2022 suite; Snowboard, Curling, Hockey, Skating, and Biathlon.
Snowboard, like all five drawings in Badiucao’s Beijing 2022 suite, is reminiscent of an old fashion travel poster that attracts tourists to a fun filled destination. At first glance the blue color scheme and swirling snow design promises a winter wonderland, and the energetic stance of the snowboarder hints at exciting winter sports… then you notice the surveillance camera.
More than half of all surveillance cameras in the world are found in China, and the CCP uses biometric surveillance cameras with facial recognition software to identify and track their citizens. The CCP also uses advanced technologies to hijack smartphones, giving them total access to all information on an individual’s cell phone.
Amassing personal information on China’s people enables the CCP to expand its already extensive “social credit system” (SCS), which rank’s an individual’s behavior with points. By examining online activity, corporate records, court documents, shopping habits, surveillance, and cellphone records, the CCP adds or subtracts points from a person’s SCS. Those with high scores are placed first for jobs and university enrollment, receive discounts on air travel and hotels, are given loans with ease, and other perks. Those with low scores are denied employment and entry into universities, are given slow internet speeds and flight bans, and are punished in other ways. Needless to say, dissidents are blacklisted. Welcome to the “People’s Republic.”
The funny thing is, the Beijing Winter Olympics will be using 100% artificial snow produced by 300 snow-cannons and more than 100 snow generating machines. On Feb. 1, 2022 NASA released some revealing images taken from its Landsat 8 satellite. The photos show China’s Winter Olympic zones as dry arid terrain, but Olympic venues are covered in snow. An estimated two million gallons of water—or 800 Olympic size swimming pools, were used to create the fake snow. And why not, everything else about the Genocide Olympics is artificial.
Curling is an Olympic ice sport where athletes use long handled curling brooms to sweep 44 pound polished granite stones over the ice towards a target known as a house. A curling stone has a handle on top that allows a player to grip and rotate the stone on release, making the stone uniquely turn or “curl.” Historically the game came from Scotland, was played with brooms, and dates back to the 1500’s. One of my favorite Renaissance artists, the Dutch Pieter Bruegel the Elder, created a beautiful oil painting in 1565 he titled Hunters in the snow. In that immense landscape, one can see the detail of three men playing curling on a frozen pond. By 1880 curling was a well established game with rules and it first entered the Olympics in 1924.
In Badiucao’s Curling, the artist has replaced the polished granite stone with the now iconic image of the Covid-19 virus. The CCP athlete has just released the virus, sending it curling over the ice to its target… you.
Hockey depicts a hockey player assaulting a Tibetan monk, whose blood has splattered across the player’s face shield. It is easy to imagine the player as a stand-in for a communist soldier of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The image is a striking metaphor for China’s oppression of Tibet. The CCP seized control of Tibet in 1950 in what they call “the Peaceful Liberation.” Since then Tibetans have struggled for freedom while Beijing has done everything it can to destroy Tibet’s traditions and culture, with the goal of absorbing the region.
I remember the pro-independence Tibetan uprising of 1987 and 1989—it started off small but quickly grew in size as it spread throughout Tibet. In March 1989 monks, nuns, and laypeople gathered in Tibet’s capital of Lhasa to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1959 uprising.
PLA soldiers fired at them killing 11 and wounding 100. Riots exploded as the CCP called a state of emergency and expelled foreign journalists. The PLA is said to have killed nearly 400 Tibetans. The international Free Tibet movement was born in the aftermath. I recall seeing hundreds of FREE TIBET bumper stickers in Los Angeles during that time, what happened to the concern for Tibet? Where are those bumper stickers today?
And so it goes, Tibetans continue to resist and the CCP continues to repress. In the first week of Feb 2022, Tibetans protested the Genocide Games in Beijing. They marched on the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland and held protests in Los Angeles, California and New Delhi, India. In 1980 the UK punk rock band The Clash performed their song Washington Bullets, it contained the lyrics: “Ask the Dalai Lama in the hills of Tibet, how many monks did the Chinese get?” That question still cannot be answered.
Skating shows a CCP athlete skating across the symbol that represents the city of Hong Kong—the flower of the Hong Kong Orchid Tree (Bauhinia blakeana). In the graphic the bleeding flower has been sliced to ribbons; the skater has its blood on the blades of his skating boots. Once a colony of the British Empire, the UK returned the city to China in 1997. Hong Kong then developed independently as one of the most prosperous cities on earth, and until recently the CCP cautiously tolerated the autonomy of their “special administrative region.”
After Hong Kongers staged pro-Democracy protests in 2019-20, communist China cracked down and imposed a punishing “National Security Law” that strips Hong Kong of its independence and freedoms. Now, Hong Kongers convicted of wrong think… activists, artists, journalists and many others, are being convicted and extradited to mainland China in numbers not seen before.
The Hong Kong Orchid Tree originated in Hong Kong and can grow up to 40 feet high. With leaves shaped like a butterfly or heart, Hong Kongers think the leaf a symbol of wisdom. The tree’s orchid-like blossoms are purplish red and pink; the flowers are so impressive one appears on the flag of Hong Kong—though depicted in white on a red background. Badiucao’s Skating is a poetic-like image that tells of liberty being crushed in Hong Kong as an indifferent world turns a blind eye.
Biathlon was developed in Scandinavian countries during the 18th century as a military exercise; an exhausting combination of cross-country skiing and marksmanship with heavy caliber bolt-action rifles. It was officially included in the 1960 Winter Olympics held in Squaw Valley, California. In 1978 the rules were standardized to use 8 pound rifles that fired .22 LR cartridges.
Badiucao’s most shocking image from his Beijing 2022 series is Biathlon, a metaphorical depiction of an unfolding genocide. It shows a Chinese communist Biathlete aiming a rifle at a Uyghur Muslim, who is wrapped in the colors of the East Turkestan flag—the banner that has come to represent the Uyghur people.
When the communists took control of China in 1949, they folded East Turkestan into their newly founded People’s Republic of China. The CCP refers to this as the “Peaceful Liberation of Xinjiang,” In 1955 they named the area the “Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.” The problem is the great majority of people in China are Han Chinese, this is reflected in China both culturally and linguistically; as for religion, the CCP thoroughly discourages it. The Uyghurs however are Turkic culturally, ethnically, and linguistically; they practice Islam. The CCP’s current policies regarding the Uyghur people have became absolutely maniacal. A 2018 report from the US Congress Commission on China put it this way:
“Uyghurs and other primarily Muslim ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region have been subjected to arbitrary detention, torture, egregious restrictions on religious practice and culture, and a digitized surveillance system so pervasive that every aspect of daily life is monitored—through facial recognition cameras, mobile phone scans, DNA collection, and an extensive and intrusive police presence. There are credible reports that as many as a million people are or have been detained in what are being called ‘political reeducation’ centers, the largest mass incarceration of an ethnic minority population in the world today.”
A 2020 report by China expert Adrian Zenz targets “the CCP’s campaign to suppress Uyghur birthrates in Xinjiang” through sterilizations, IUDs, and mandatory birth control. In an interview conducted by NPR and broadcast on July 4, 2020, Zenz noted that “the suppression of birth” is one of the “five criteria set forth by the United Nations Convention for the Punishment and Prevention of the Crime of Genocide.” The full report by Mr. Zenz can be read on the Jamestown Foundation website.
The International Olympic Committee should never have picked China’s totalitarian regime as host for the 2022 Winter Olympics. The US government should have withdrawn from the games over China’s massive violations of human rights and its ongoing genocide of the Uyghur people. The National Broadcasting Company (NBC), has exclusive rights to broadcast the Olympics; they should have refused to air the Beijing games. Instead the network gave the CCP an international propaganda platform. NBC should change their name to the National Beijing Corporation and be done with it. I will not watch NBC’s broadcast of the games. We saw all of this during the Berlin Olympic Games of 1936, you might think we should have learned a lesson from the experience.
In 1980 US President Carter led 65 countries in boycotting the 1980 summer Olympics held in Moscow because the Soviet Union had invaded and occupied Afghanistan starting in Feb. 1979. The Soviets and 14 allied countries boycotted the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, their reason being “anti-Soviet hysteria whipped up in the US” made it dangerous for athletes. The irony is that the US invaded and occupied Afghanistan starting in Oct. 2001. The US/Soviet clash was a breaking point of Cold War hysteria, but the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics presents us with an ongoing genocide. It all comes back to Hitler’s 1936 Olympics; crimes against humanity were taking place in German concentration camps that year. The US should have boycotted the Berlin Olympics.
At any rate, rather than watching the CCP disfigure the Olympic spirit, my time was better spent writing this essay about Badiucao’s truthful Beijing 2022 artworks.