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5th May 2021

Unremembered Days

Our Post-16 Girls have been supporting Hampton School in their Genocide project to raise awareness for this very growing issue.

This year's theme is based on 'Unremembered Days'. 

Two of our incredible Yr 12 students, Aisha and Tiana rose to the challenge and will be getting their poem and prose published in Hampton School's yearly magazine! We are so proud of what these girls have achieved and want to celebrate their success. 

Please see both entries below: 


'Unremembered Days' a poem on Genocide by Tiana

Genocide is the mass killing of people with intent to completely destroy them

How much do you know about genocide?

How much genocide do you know about?

Do you know a little or a lot?

How much do you know?

 

Do you know about World War II, the Holocaust?

The mass killing of the Jews among others?

Do you know about the Cambodian Genocide?

Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge killing many Cambodians in the hopes of forming a Republic?

Do you know about the Romani Genocide?

The Nazis and their allies killing Romani’s in order for a ‘ethnic cleansing’ of the ‘enemy of state’?

Do you know a little or a lot?

How much do you know?

 

Do you know about the genocide in Rwanda?

A Rwandan civil war where thousands of Tutsi and Hutu were slaughtered by the military?

Do you know about the Bosnia genocide?

A 3 year civil war where many Bosnian Serb forces killed so many Bosniaks, almost as much as the WWII Holocaust?

Do you know about the Darfur genocide?

The first genocide of the 21st Century? The killing and rape against the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa tribes? Including children?

Do you know a little or a lot?

How much do you know?

 

There is so much genocide that nobody knows about

Does that include you?

So much suffering that has not been heard about

Stories have not been told, unable to tell people who need to know

Do you know a little or a lot?

How much do you know?

How much does the world truly know?


'Unremembered Days' a reflection on feelings by Aisha

The term ‘unremembered days’ is rather difficult to apply to an ongoing genocide, and so it was difficult to associate a specific day to the genocide of the Uighur Muslims in China. After researching, I found that in October of 2018, China legalised the ‘re-education camps’ in Xinjiang. Clearly, there is a limit of information on this specific genocide. From the slaughter in Rwanda to the systematic killing in Cambodia, it has been shown the extent to which humans can be degraded, but this begs the question, why are we unaware of such tragedies? Through indoctrination and limitless societal ideas, it is inevitable for radical beliefs to emerge. However, few times in history have these ideas formed inhumane situations. But none have stuck me more than the clear disregard for the genocides in China. Whilst some know of these horrific and unfortunate genocides, such as the Holocaust which we are gratefully taught of, many are unaware of the current genocides that happen in our world today. In this short summary, I will attempt to bring to light the discrimination towards the Uighur Muslims in China.

The ’wiping out’ of the Uighurs began in 2014, but the project expanded vastly in 2017, when the building of camps began. Just as with other genocides, it is always questioned why they even began. According to NBC News, by 2019 there was an estimate of 1 million Uighur Muslims detained, but this goes beyond what we perceive, this genocide has multiple reasons behind it; rather than being solely based on islamophobia and racism, there are more economical intentions. China does not have enough oil to meet the exponentially growing demand for it, and first began to depend on imported oil in 1993. China’s first large oilfield was discovered in Junggar Basin in Xinjiang, the home of the Uighurs. But, with a completely different culture, similar to their neighbouring countries, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, the Uighurs are vastly different from the generic communist Chinese who have been indoctrinated to blindly obey the government. Being a highly communist country, China commits their citizens to their government, but the Uighurs differ from this ideal, therefore meaning they are ‘disloyal’. So, with a land of wealth but an opposing culture, there is a possibility of rebellion should China begin to extract Xinjiang’s resources. This triggered the beginning of what would become the fast-growing building of concentration camps and indoctrination. So, after categorising people through religion and ethnic background through the new identification technology, the removal of the Uighurs began.

There are articles, by well-known publications such as the BBC and Al Jazeera, written with the intention of raising awareness about this controversial matter. However, despite the objections to the cruel discrimination, many influential figures ignore or disregard the genocide. Notably, President Joe Biden recently called it a ‘cultural norm’. Knowing the economic advantage of China, and that many countries are dependent on their international links to the Chinese government, it is unsurprising that 4 days after the condemning of the Chinese leadership by the U.N, 37 countries defended the Chinese contribution to human rights. Nonetheless, the genocide is still widely unknown as it is being masked by the Chinese government’s tactics. Similar to the beginning of the Holocaust, when the Nazi Party attempted to convince their citizens and the world that their camps were simply joyful and habitual places, the Chinese government claim their concentration camps are ‘re-education centres’. They claim that the Uighurs are on the verge of crime, and therefore need to be educated before they commit one, they coin this “thought crimes”. However, this ‘education’ is simply a way to essentially destroy the Uighur culture.

During our modern age in the Western world, we naturally presume genocides are in the past. We forget that such tragedies are currently happening, as awareness on such subjects are sparse. The genocide of the Uighur Muslims is happening in China right now and we need to recognise it, just as we recognise other genocides in history. There aren’t many unremembered days associated with the genocide in China, but the few that are known have to be brought to our understanding.


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