The Listening Post

Protests in China: The blank sheets tell a tale

Protesters in China brave a surveillance state as they push back against stifling zero-COVID policies. Plus, art in times of turmoil in Sri Lanka.

After two years of some of the most stringent COVID restrictions in the world, many in China are fed up and are demanding a loosening of the controls – in some cases, even calling out President Xi Jinping. They are running the gauntlet of a surveillance state that comes down hard on dissent.

Victor Gao – vice president, Center for China and Globalization
Carl Zha – host, Silk & Steel podcast
Lizzi Lee – journalist, Wall St TV & Host, Live with Lizzi Lee
Josh Chin – deputy China bureau chief, Wall Street Journal

On our radar:

An open letter to Washington from five international newspapers says that the United States’s demand for Wikileaks founder and whistleblower Julian Assange’s extradition sets a “dangerous precedent” for freedom of the press.

Art in times of turmoil in Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan protests which forced former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa out of office featured memes, viral videos, songs, dances, cartoons and caricatures. The protest art conveyed what mainstream media could not – or would not: Sri Lankans were done with the Rajapaksas and their corruption.

Hasini Haputhanthri – cultural sociologist
Sanjana Hattotuwa – research fellow, The Disinfo Project
Randy Chriz Perera – artist and animator
Vasi Samudra Devi – artist and activist