Daniel Garber speaks with Sameer Farooq about his new documentary The Silk Road of Pop
Hi, this is Daniel Garber at the Movies for culturalmining.com and CIUT 89.5 FM.
Most Chinese live in the eastern half of the country. Western China — places like Tibet, Gansu, Xinjiang — are sparsely populated, and traditionally the home of minority populations, people who are different from the Han Chinese.
One of these groups, the Uyghur — a central Asian, Muslim Turkic people — were once a dominant culture in vast Xinjiang.
But very recently, an influx of Han Chinese migrants have shifted the population balance away from this indigenous group. A fascinating new documentary called The Silk Road of Pop, premiering at Toronto’s Reel Asian Film Festival looks at how the Uyghur people and their music have fared in contemporary China.
The director is Nova Scotia native Sameer Farooq from Smoke Signal Projects. Sameer has a background in Cultural Anthropology and a deep familiarity with China and its peoples. He’s currently completing his MFA at RISD in Rhode Island.
In this interview Sameer explains more about the origins of Uyghur music, his own identification with that group, outside influences, hip hop, their future as a minority within China, the role of women in Uyghur music… and more!