Chroniclers of Uyghur life disappear in Xi’s China.

In Xi’s China, chroniclers of Uyghur life have been disappearing at an alarming rate. Ilham Tohti, a prominent Uyghur economist and intellectual from Xinjiang, lamented the dwindling number of individuals like himself during a conversation in 2013. At that time, he was walking through the beautiful campus of Beijing’s Minzu University, which specializes in the study of China’s ethnic minorities.

Ilham Tohti was one of the few Uyghur scholars who had managed to gain a wide following in Xinjiang. However, the region had been witnessing a gradual stifling of independent voices, especially after the Han-Uyghur riots in 2009. This increased suppression of Uyghur intellectuals and scholars has raised concerns about the preservation of Uyghur culture and the ability to document and share their unique way of life.

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