21/09/2015 | Speakers

Liao Yiwu


Chinese author, reporter, musician, and poet. He is a critic of China’s Communist regime, for which he has been imprisoned. His books, several of which are collections of interviews with ordinary people from the lower rungs of Chinese society, were published in Taiwan and Hong Kong but are banned in mainland China; some have been translated into English, French, German, Polish and Czech. In 2003, he was awarded a Human Rights Watch Hellman-Hammett Grant. In 2007, he received a Freedom to Write Award from the Independent Chinese PEN Center. Authorities prevented him from attending the award ceremony in Beijing. In 2011 he was awarded the German Geschwister-Scholl-Preis and in 2012 the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. In his address at the price ceremony in the Paulskirche, Liao Yiwu described China as “the source of global disasters” and an “ever-expanding garbage dump”. He concluded his speech with the wish that “for the peaceful well-being of all humanity, this empire (China) must break apart”.