Writer and democracy activist Yi Ping will discuss human rights in China as part of the Human Rights and Genocide Forum at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 6, in the Geneva Room. His talk is titled “The Causes and Lessons of the Chinese Cultural Revolution.” Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.
Yi Ping, pen name of Jianhua Li, is banned from returning to his country. He currently lives in Ithaca, N.Y., with his wife, Lin Zhou, and their teenage son, Mao, as part of the “Cities of Asylum” global network organized by the International Parliament of Writers. Ithaca is the 27th City of Asylum in the world and only the second in the United States.
In China, Yi Ping collaborated on pro-democracy journals, such as Sea Waves, took part in the “Xidan Democracy Wall Movement,” co-founded the underground poetry journal Survivors (which organized the first Survivors Poetry Festival, a harbinger of the 1989 Students' Democracy Movement), and was present at the Tiananmen Square massacre. He was repeatedly subject to police harassment, barred from teaching, and unable to publish his work freely – only two of his books have been published in China, in expurgated versions. He now publishes his work in emigré journals.
Yi Ping's presentation at Hobart and William Smith Colleges is cosponsored by Writers Reading and the Departments of Asian Languages and Cultures, English, and Religious Studies.