Beijing: interview with pro-Tibet videobloggers in hiding, in China.

Last week, eight American citizens were detained in Beijing for participating in pro-Tibetan sovereignty protests near the site of the 2008 Olympics, with Students for a Free Tibet. Two videobloggers who documented those protest and guerrilla art installations evaded detention, and spoke to Boing Boing TV on Friday Beijing time about why they were there, what they witnessed, and why it mattered.

Jay Dedman and Ryanne Hodson of Ryanishungry.com spoke to us over Skype from a hostel in Beijing. One of the actions they documented in photo and video was the hanging of an “LED throwies” light banner, below, which read “FREE TIBET.” We agreed to hold this Boing Boing tv episode until after we received word that they’d safely left the country. They have returned home, so I am posting the piece today.


Correction: Yesterday, we posted news that 6 Americans who’d been detained were now released and on their way to Los Angeles. Turns out that in fact, a total of 8 were detained — the last two, from a later protest, a photograph of which is posted below (Thanks, NF and Students for a Free Tibet).


Previously on Boing Boing blog:

* UPDATE: US citizens detained in Beijing over Tibet protests are released, returning home.

* Beijing and Tibet: GRL’s James Powderly, Brian of “Alive in Baghdad, 4 other US citizens receive 10-day jail sentence

* Beijing update: New detentions, 6 US protesters missing, Tibetan protesters in Tibet reportedly shot dead.
* Beijing: “Alive in Baghdad” videoblogger among US citizens detained in pro-Tibet protests
* Beijing: Five US activists detained after lighting up “Free Tibet” LED Throwies banner near Olympics site
* GRL’s James Powderly detained in Beijing for planning pro-Tibet “L.A.S.E.R. Stencil” art protest

Related episodes of Boing Boing tv:

* BBtv WORLD (Tibet): Inside Lhasa
* Vlog (Xeni): Tibet report – monks forced to participate in staged videos.
* Vlog (Xeni): Tibet’s uprising and the internet

About Xeni Jardin

Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: xeni@boingboing.net.
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9 Responses to Beijing: interview with pro-Tibet videobloggers in hiding, in China.

  1. wallythek says:

    For a point of reference, check out footage of police action against protestors yesterday at the DNC in Denver

  2. Anonymous says:

    I see it as asking for global understanding and that Chinese favourite, harmony. Cultural differences are less important than human similiarities.

  3. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    BSatow — so “One World, One Dream” can be read prescriptively, or as a threat?

  4. Vladd says:

    Tht’s grt. ssm nw w cn hv Fr Sth sst ls, rght?

    Bcs Ksvrs cn b fr, nd Tbt shld b fr, why shldn’t Sth sstns nd bhsns?

    FR STH SST!

  5. bsatow says:

    Usually Asian proverbs have dual or multiple meanings. I think the term is double-entendre.

    The comment made by #6 is very humorous to me. “Cultural differences are less important than human similarities”, I guess that whole Cultural Revolution thing they had in China, where it is estimated that 15 to 20 million people starved to death between 1959 and 1961 was no big deal to the poster of #6.

    The quote One World, One dream isn’t really a threat, but think about it, if President Bush gave a speech to the Iraqi people and used that quote, what would you think if you were an Iraqi? Then again, what would Bush’s generals and military leaders be thinking when hearing those words? Would they be dreaming the Iraqi dream or the American dream?

    Did you hear about the blind carpenter who picked up his hammer and saw?

  6. clueless in brooklyn says:

    good questions from xeni.

  7. danegeld says:

    Hope Chinese government isn’t watching this video, and/or your sources are using pseudonyms.

  8. bsatow says:

    Excellent interview Xeni! Intelligent questions and great responses from Ryanne and Jay.

    The funny thing about the slogan:

    “one world, one dream”

    When I first heard it, I thought, I wonder whose world and whose dream…

    This is a little off topic, but people just don’t understand idioms any more and their possible hidden meanings. People don’t seem to realize the depth that metaphors have. In Asia, it is quite common for idioms and metaphors to have multiple meanings..

    For example, “one day, a thousand miles”. An idiom used when things are rapidly changing and progressing. For example, let’s say your child used to dress up like a kid in cutie clothes, then one day dresses more like an adult. Someone might say that idiom under the right circumstances to indicate how fast kids are maturing these days.

    This idiom can also be used when discussing the rapid modernization and progress of China. Is there a hidden meaning behind it… possibly… a tad xenophobic, but it can also mean how they are going to spread economically and control global politics through the strength of their economy.

    one day, a thousand miles…

    one world, one dream

    Of course, it seems that China doesn’t have plans for Tibetan dreams…

  9. Antinous says:

    Attention, please

    Boing Boing and BBTV have hosted numerous posts on the current situation in Tibet. Those comment threads have touched on many issues related to the current and past situation there. Here’s a list of some of the livelier discussions about this issue:

    Protest inside Tibet captured on tourists’ cameras

    Police attack peacefully protesting monks in Tibet

    Tibet: more deaths, injuries in Lhasa as crackdown grows

    Tibet: China blocks YouTube, protests spread, bloggers react

    Tibet: nearly 1,000 jailed in Lhasa, Dalai Lama offers to resign

    To do in SF – Tibet rally on April 8, Richard Gere, Desmond Tutu

    Photo of pro-Tibet protest on Golden Gate Bridge

    And of course, the most current posts:

    Beijing: Five US activists detained after lighting up “Free Tibet” LED Throwies banner near Olympics site

    GRL’s James Powderly detained in Beijing for planning pro-Tibet “L.A.S.E.R. Stencil” art protest

    Beijing: “Alive in Baghdad” videoblogger among US citizens detained in pro-Tibet protests

    Beijing update: New detentions, 6 US protesters missing, Tibetan protesters in Tibet reportedly shot dead.

    BBtv WORLD (Tibet): Inside Lhasa

    Beijing and Tibet: GRL’s James Powderly, Brian of “Alive in Baghdad, 4 other US citizens receive 10-day jail sentence

    UPDATE: US citizens detained in Beijing over Tibet protests are released, returning home.

    From our Moderation Policy:

    7. Failing to notice that there are other people in the conversation. Posting a remark that’s already been made five times and answered six. Coming back and re-posting essentially the same material after a twenty-message thread has discussed your previous comment. Trying to forcibly wrench the conversation onto one of your own pet topics. Posting a stale, canned rant you’ve posted a dozen times before at other sites. Not coming back to see how others have responded to you.

    Before posting in this thread, please familiarize yourself with the territory of this ongoing discussion. Repetitive arguments, unsupported claims, cut-and-paste posturing or disingenuous concern for the plight of any and everyone except the subject of the post will be removed. Links to the same articles that have already been linked a dozen times will be removed. Links to up-to-date, reputable news sources are, naturally, most welcome.

    Thank you for making this a lively, civil and compassionate discussion about the plight of the Tibetan people.

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