Lee Songyang Li                                   

When A4 is a Movement

    On 26 November 2022, in Nanjing, a student stood on the steps of the Communication University of China, Nanjing, holding a blank sheet of paper, until it was snatched from her. Subsequently, hundreds of students gathered on the steps with blank sheets of paper to hold a candlelight vigil for victims of the Ürümqi fire, using phone flashlights as candles and held up blank pieces of paper in reference to the censorship surrounding the Ürümqi fire. The protests are the most sustained since the student protest movement of 1989 that was brutally suppressed when security forces massacred students at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. When A4 is a Movement Is a symbol of defiance against the Chinese state’s strict censorship, while also serving as a practical method for evading censorship itself in a desperate way. When more and more people begin to understand the meaning behind these absurd acts of desperate protest. Blank sheets of paper say nothing and everything at the same time.


                 © Songyang Li