Sun, 24 April 2022
Danish sculptor Jens Galschiøt’s “Pillar of Shame,” a 26-foot copper-cased monument to the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, stood for nearly a quarter century outside the student union at Hong Kong University. The tower-like statue of human faces contorted by suffering was installed in 1997, just before the handover of Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China. In December 2021, under cover of darkness, the university removed the statue. It’s a move many say is an overt attempt to suppress the memory of the brutal crackdown—and part of a broader effort by China to erase Hong Kong’s history of independence. On this week’s episode, we hear from Galschiøt, the sculptor who built the “Pillar of Shame.” Then, Ray Suarez talks with former NPR Beijing correspondent Louisa Lim about China’s brazen efforts to stamp out free speech in Hong Kong, the city she grew up in. Lim shares the experiences she chronicled in her new book Indelible City, an emotional eyewitness account of the pro-democracy protests and a reflection on Hong Kong’s identity.
Jens Galschiøt, Danish sculptor
Ray Suarez, co-host WorldAffairs