Magazine article The Spectator

Blurring Boundaries

Magazine article The Spectator

Blurring Boundaries

Article excerpt

Each of the Buddhist monks' faces tells a variation on the same story. One simmers with fury, another sags with despair, a third i s locked in a stoica l ga ze . The sign they are holding is written in Mandarin - its message the latest piece of sadistic invention by the Red Guards promoting Mao's Cultural Revolution. 'To hell with the Buddhist scriptures, they are full o f dog fa r t s .'

This is just one tiny photograph in the Barbican exhibition Everything Was Moving (until 13 January 2013).

The project take s a ga rgantuan bite into world affairs in the Sixties and Sevent ie s , so that th rough the eye s of 12 photographers we revisit such provocat ive topic s a s apa r theid , Uk ra ine under Sov iet ru le , the American civil rights movement, and Mao's China. The monks' photo was taken by Li Zhensheng, a news photographer who was also secretly creating what would prove to be the most extensive chronicle of the Cultural Revolution. …

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