Personal tools

Empty chair

From China Digital Space

Revision as of 23:56, 23 September 2013 by Josh (talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search

空椅子 (kōng yǐzi): empty chair

Liu's empty chair in Oslo.
Use of the empty chair symbol by Amnesty International.

Writer and dissident Liu Xiaobo, who was sentenced to an 11-year prison sentence for “inciting subversion of state power” in 2009, was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. Unable to attend the award ceremony in Oslo due to his incarceration, the laureate was represented by his empty seat. Shortly thereafter, the term “empty chair” became a sensitive word in Chinese cyberspace.

The Southern Metropolis Daily published this controversial cover after “empty chair” became a sensitive word

Some bloggers who used the term online following the 2010 Nobel ceremony had their accounts blocked, and some who participated in a campaign to post images of empty chairs saw their posts censored—some accounts were even deleted for posting the image.

For more on China’s attempt to censor images empty chairs, see here (English) and here (Chinese).