Xinjiang Expedition by Spandrell

€690 of €1 goal

Raised by 15 people in 2 months
Created September 16, 2018
I am Spandrell, sinologist and historian, writer of the blog Bloody Shovel, @thespandrell on Twitter.

Xinjiang is China´s westernmost province, a landmass as big as five Germanies. It is also home to the Uyghurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim people, 10 million of them, as well as a million or so Muslim Kazakhs.

The Uyghurs have been in conflict with the Han Chinese for a while, especially since 2009, when an Uyghur riot ended up with 200 Chinese dead, as well as a small-scale insurgency in the countryside.

China has tried to pacify Xinjiang for some time, and recently appears to have decided on a very harsh policy: concentration camps to reeducate Muslims who show even the slightest of Islamic piety.

Western governments are now openly criticizing China for unconfirmed (China obviously won't tell) reports of 1 million Uyghurs being detained in concentration camps. At this rate it is likely that Xinjiang will be closed to foreign visitors, as Tibet was about 10 years ago when Western tourists made a habit of unfolding 'Free Tibet' banners in Lhasa.

I would like to take the chance to go to Xinjiang while it is legally possible to do so; and it is also an interesting moment to go and see the reality in the ground. If you think it would be interesting to read about my impressions in Xinjiang, please contribute here.

I am planning for a 2-week trip, covering most of the oasis towns of the south (the Tarim Basin), and if possible the northern steppe (Dzungaria). If I'm lucky I won't be going alone. I won't reveal the exact timing to avoid attracting attention.

Any contributors will get direct access to me where they can ask me any questions they have in real time. Big contributors will be able to request specific places to go in Xinjiang or things to see or do.

If you happen to have the time, you are also very welcome to come with me.

Thanks for your help, it is greatly appreciated. 
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€690 of €1 goal

Raised by 15 people in 2 months
Created September 16, 2018
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