Democracy Wall – A wall full of expressions
12 Dec 2010–25 Apr 2011
As a commentary to the Nobel Peace Prize Exhibition about Liu Xiaobo, I Have No Enemies, the Nobel Peace Center set up a democracy wall in the educational room.
On the democracy wall you could show your support of the imprisoned Liu Xiaobo, express your views on the Nobel Peace Prize, human rights and politics, or comment on the society in which you live. Visitors were free to speak.
The inspiration for the democracy wall was taken from China and a unique wall in Bejing.
Under Mao, China was ruled with an iron fist, and criticism of the government was scarcely tolerated. When Den Xiaoping took over in 1976 he wanted to open China to the West and to new political views. It resulted in the ‘democracy wall’ in Bejing, which became an important gathering point as of December 1978. Standing near Tiananmen Square in the western part of Beijing, the Democracy Wall became a meeting place for Chinese intellectuals and others with political and cultural messages. They wrote their political views and grievances, which they posted on the wall. Many also wrote poems – a traditional way of bringing up political causes in China.
The wall became an ever more popular rallying point for political discussion, and the messages became increasingly critical of the political regime. In 1979 the Chinese government felt things had gone too far, so one night in December 1979 they tore down the wall. Several people was arrested in the process.