Young Uyghur men install counterfeited software and exchange bootleg movies after a day of working in the orchards. September 2012, East Turkestan
Many would be surprised how aware of technology and pop culture the people of East Turkestan (the far Western reaches of China) are. Many covet the latest iPhone and can talk about Hollywood blockbusters of the last decade. Also, quite aware of local fashion trends; where the men dress more hip and Western than the Han Chinese majority.
Because of limited news resources, many use websites like the BBC to follow modern news and politics. The Uyghurs in cities that have followed through with high school education are free thinkers, inquisitive, and very well aware of what’s happening in their own country and elsewhere. Even in the countryside, there is intelligence and a curiosity. They know what is going on politically and religiously…perhaps no computers or iPhones, but there are rumors of underground newspapers circulating and secret meetings among men.