China and Inner Asia
Organized Panel Session
Traditional sources such as party ethnological documents and local gazetteers can silence or manipulate people’s voices; but literature, particularly historical fiction, is invaluable in unraveling the visceral experience and emic perspective of historical events as lived. This paper examines a number of works published by émigré Xinjiang Kazakh authors in Almaty, Kazakhstan, where the authors were not subject to Chinese censorship. They were therefore able to tackle the Chinese state’s “technologies of forgetting” and serve as an alternative source for examining Kazakhs' lived experience and subjectivities in the Mao era. The works were created instead within their own political context—Sino-Soviet relations and the subsequent nationalizing project of independent Kazakhstan.