China: Authorities ban art exhibition on violence against women


Beijing authorities banned an art exhibition about feminism and domestic violence just before it was set to open, organisers said on 26 November 2015.

The exhibition, timed for the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, was due to open on 25 November 2015 at Beijing’s Gingko Space art gallery.

More than 60 Chinese artists — half of them women — contributed work to the show. But when they arrived at the venue, they found themselves locked out and the gallery staff absent.


Images from the banned exhibition

“The reason our exhibition was called off is pressure from higher authorities,” Cui Guangxia, the Beijing-based artist curating the event told the British newspaper The Guardian.

Cui, who was detained for more than a month last year for his support for the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong, said authorities think the event is sensitive because the focus is on domestic violence and gender equality.

China’s government tightly monitors and controls feminist campaigns (as it does other citizen movements) that may spark public challenges or instability. Five feminist activists were arrested by police in March after planning to distribute leaflets and post stickers against sexual harassment. They were released more than a month later after they drew international attention.

Photo on top of this page: A group of women stare at broken models and a topless man, by Liu Jing. Courtesy of Wechat/Cangjia

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