Chinese protest artist's Olympic posters to be displayed in Prague

Olympic protest art featuring a curler throwing a coronavirus and a hockey player body-checking a monk will be placed in Prague, Brno, and Plzeň.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 29.01.2022 13:38:00 (updated on 30.01.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Posters featuring artwork created by pseudonymous Chinese artist Badiucao that combine sports from the Winter Olympics with violations of human rights and other controversial activity in China will be erected in Prague, Brno, and Plzeň in advance of the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Forum for Human Rights, a Central European NGO focusing on international human rights issues, announced the planned placement of the artwork to local media this weekend.

The posters feature a biathlon racer aiming a gun at the head of an Uyghur prisoner on his knees, an ice skater slicing through a bauhinia flower (a symbol for Hong Kong), a hockey player body-checking a Tibetan monk, and a snowboarder riding a CCTV camera instead of a snowboard. 

A fifth poster features a curler tossing a coronavirus molecule instead of a stone. Badiucao says that the Chinese government censored information regarding the scope of the Covid-19 outbreak during the early days in Wuhan, contributing to its rapid worldwide spread. 

Badiucao created the series of five posters last year, intended for placement by protest groups worldwide. Due to their firm anti-China stance, the posters have been banned in other locations, such as Australia, and drawn sharp criticism from China.

Late last year, the Chinese Embassy in Rome sent a letter to the Mayor of Brescia urging her to cancel a planned exhibition featuring the series of Olympic posters and other artwork created by Badiucao, including a depiction of Chinese President Xi Jinping hunting down Winnie the Pooh.

In the Czech Republic, the placement of Badiucao's Olympic posters has been organized by local human rights organizations and led by Haruna Honcoop, a Czech-Japanese documentary filmmaker.

"I would like Badiucao's posters to remind people in the streets of what is going in the People's Republic of China," Honcoop told journalists yesterday.

"[The posters] should make people think about what is happening in China before they tune in to the Olympics on television, and therefore indirectly support the Chinese regime."

According to Honcoop, the the International Olympic Committee has legitimized the Chinese regime by allowing the Olympic Games to be staged in Beijing.

In Prague, Badiucao's artwork will be featured on LED screens at the city's metro stations, among other locations.

On Friday, Prime Minister Petr Fiala confirmed to the head of the Czech Olympic Committee that no minister of his cabinet would attend the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, though he wished the athletes the best of luck.

With the move, the Czech Republic has joined a diplomatic protest of the Winter Olympics along with the United States and numerous European nations due to human rights violations in China.

This year's Winter Olympics will take place from February 4-20 in Beijing.

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