The dissident Chinese cartoonist, who this week revealed his face to the public for the first time, requests that cartoonists everywhere post their selfies and artwork to Twitter using #Tiananmen31
We recently reported that Badiucao has ended a decade of wholly anonymous artistic practice while living in exile in Australia. The new documentary film CHINA’S ARTFUL DISSIDENT was broadcast on ABC Tuesday night and concluded with the first public appearance of the cartoonist without a mask. (It can still be seen on ABC’s iView service).
Since then there have been numerous unmasked interviews and articles with Badiucao in the international media. Of particular note is a piece in the Hong Kong Free Press – the hosts of the cancelled 2018 exhibition at the heart of the documentary – that reveals an interaction between the cartoonist and Twitter over the past year.
Badiucao offered the social media giant use of his cartoon of the iconic “Tank Man” as the basis for a new emoji to mark the thirtieth anniversary of the massacre of students and other protestors on Tiananmen Square, Beijing. Twitter declined, stating that allocation of commemorative emoji amounts to a finite resource.
However the cartoonist sees this as an act of capitulation to the notoriously censorious regime. Earlier this week, hundreds of Chinese Twitter accounts were suspended, apparently by mistake, but interpreted by activists as an attempt to curtail discussion of the Tiananmen events on and around June 4th.
Badiucao seeks to ensure that there is a “Tank Man” emoji added in time for the next anniversary and asks that cartoonists everywhere join him in the effort:
- post a selfie to Twitter, showing your face in solidarity with Badiucao
- include your drawing of the “Tank Man” – a figure with their back turned, dressed in white shirt and black pants holding two shopping bags
- use the hashtag #Tiananmen31, the next anniversary of the event
- copy in @twitter so those in charge of the platform see your posts