Paris, the 11th of February
Badiucao signs a new exhibition denouncing the authoritarian abuses of the Chinese government during the Beijing Winter Olympics.
On 1 February 2022, Chinese cartoonist Badiucao launched the “Beijing 2022 Olympics” collection calling for a boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics due to the Chinese government’s human rights violations.
The collection is the result of work produced during the Human Rights Foundation’s “Art in Protest” artist residency in which the artist participated in 2021, with 10% of the exhibition’s profits paid back to the Art in Protest programme. The collection gathers five graphic works representing an Olympic sport: biathlon, curling, hockey, figure skating and snowboarding, diverted to denounce “CCP’s oppression of the Tibetan people, the Uyghur genocide, the dismantling of democracy in Hong Kong, the regime’s omnipresent surveillance systems, & lack of transparency surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.” as Badiucao wrote. The collection can be seen online and also on the streets of several major cities, such as Miami and Prague.
Relayed and appropriated by many, it has also been the subject of strong criticisms from China and elsewhere. In Australia, the artist’s residency country, a billboard company chose not to host the exhibition for fear of Chinese retaliation. In Washington, a university president wanted to censor Badiucao’s work, which was displayed in his university by students, because he was offended by the racist nature of the works, as he wrote. The teacher retracted his statement after learning who the author was and the meaning of his work. Unfortunately, this is not the first time that the work of the Chinese dissident artist has been subject to attempts at censorship. Recently in November 2021, the Chinese embassy in Rome pressured a museum in Brescia (Italy) not to show one of Badiucao’s exhibitions, but the museum did not give in to the pressure.
Once again, the art of the Robert Russell Courage in Cartooning Award winner does not leave anyone indifferent, but Cartooning for Peace wants to ensure that the right to freedom of expression of its author and those who promote it is respected.