Book Review of “The War on the Uyghurs”: How a People Became “Terrified”

An excerpt from Darren Byler’s review of Sean Roberts’ The War on the Uyghurs:  Prior to the US declaration of the Global War on Terror, Uyghurs were described occasionally as “counterrevolutionaries” or as “separatists”, but never as terrorists. Working in concert with Chinese state security in a Beijing-based investigation, in the early 2000s US intelligence officials took up … Continue reading Book Review of “The War on the Uyghurs”: How a People Became “Terrified”

The New Xinjiang: Traveling when Uyghur

In Navigating Xinjiang's Security Checkpoints, Darren Byler, anthropology PhD candidate at the University of Washington, relates his recent experiences in northwest China: Over the course of a week in cities across Xinjiang, I went through dozens and dozens of checkpoints. I saw young Uighur officers berate elderly Uighurs for not showing their IDs. I saw … Continue reading The New Xinjiang: Traveling when Uyghur

本周精彩语录:新疆 – – “生物医学技术武装化” 实验之地?

问:根据近期一篇报道,请简单说明一下中国目前采集维吾尔人 DNA 数据是出于什么目的。 答:当局正在采集维吾尔人生物识别数据,把它作为新身份证制度的一部分。除了DNA 采集,在建的信息登记数据库还包括指纹、血型、语音模式、人脸图像 —— 收集到的数据将会和民族、职业、性别、年龄、出境记录、户口登记、个人以及家属的犯罪记录和宗教信仰挂钩。 2014 年春 “反恐人民战争” 开展以来,南疆维吾尔人口便接二连三沦为公安部门的实验对象。称之为 “便民联系卡” 身份通行制度在新疆实行了第一代,但是大多数维族,尤其 80% 多被划入农村户口,未能获得这张 “良民” 证。因此,军事化的检查站会阻拦居民离开他们所定居的县。当局 2016 年停用了该通行证制度,接着在南疆各个城镇设置检查站。新的身份识别系统将全面跟踪维吾尔人日常生活中的流动及社交。事实上,中国政府正在把生物医学技术武装化,试图将矛头指向 1100万维吾尔民众,并把他们作为管制的对象。 (Excerpted from Mercy Guo's interview with U of Washington anthropology Ph D candidate Darren Byler (Uyghur Biodata Collection in China), about how the PRC government is building a database on ethnic Muslims in Xinjiang. Published at … Continue reading 本周精彩语录:新疆 – – “生物医学技术武装化” 实验之地?

The Xinjiang Gold Rush, Uyghur Scavengers and a Kind of Freedom

In a discussion of Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing’s The Mushroom at the End of the World — about Southeast Asian refugee immigrants and white Vietnam War vets picking mushrooms in Oregon — Darren Byler is struck by the way the mushroom pickers speak of freedom. He writes: In a corner of China, several thousand kilometers from … Continue reading The Xinjiang Gold Rush, Uyghur Scavengers and a Kind of Freedom