They Left without Packing
The Afterglow of Disappeared Lives
By placing the skull cap on the TV and showing it on with no image, I wanted to express the idea of deserted, empty Uyghur homes. As Uyghurs are herded from their dwellings into mass incarceration, their living places are left barren. I imagine that people are snatched from their homes in such a hurry that everything is left where it is, and there is no time to take their personal belongings with them. Items such as this cap, which is dear to many Uyghurs, are forgotten or intentionally left behind because symbols of Uyghur culture are very much discouraged by China right now.
I chose the old style TV as a prop. It represents a person in my eyes. Indeed, a sizable number of Uyghurs in the countryside might still be using old technology. I want to express how widespread the internment is and how it creeps through all levels of Uyghur society.