Louisa Lim: Remembering the Legacy of Tiananmen Square
Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - 6:45 p.m.
The image of the solitary figure facing down a column of tanks rolling through Beijing’s Tiananmen Square has lost none of its power 25 years after the People’s Army crushed unarmed protesters on June 4, 1989. To this day, his name and fate remain unknown, buried in the silence that envelops everything about the tragedy of Tiananmen Square.
In her new book, The People’s Republic of Amnesia: The Legacy of Tiananmen Square (Oxford University Press), Louisa Lim, NPR’s China correspondent, offers an insider’s account of this defining event of China’s modern history, from the widespread official hypocrisy and obsession with silence to its impact on the nation’s society and culture. She interweaves portraits of eight individuals whose lives have been shaped by the events of June 4, including the two women who started Tiananmen Mothers (an advocacy organization that aims to assist the relatives of those killed at Tiananmen Square); a student survivor involved in the protests; a soldier who took part in the suppression; and a high-ranking government administrator who played a role in ordering the tanks into the square.
Lim is currently on fellowship at the University of Michigan. She opened the NPR Shanghai bureau in 2006 and had previously worked as the BBC correspondent in Beijing. Copies of her book are available for signing after the program.
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Drive, SW
Metro: Smithsonian Mall Exit (Blue/Orange)