Joint Statement of PEN Organizations and Writers in Support of Yan Geling: "She is Not Alone"
Text in Chinese below the English statement:
She Is Not Alone
- A Joint Statement
The undersigned PEN centers and individuals are expressing our solidarity with Ms. Geling Yan, a prominent American-Chinese author residing in Berlin, for her struggle to restore her credit against Chinese state power. As shown in her open letter attached, Chinese authorities have suppressed her freedoms of expression and of the press in China, and been extending their long-arm censorship beyond through China’s expanding economic and political powers. We are calling the writers, journalists, publishers, distributors and media of conscience to support Ms. Yan's One-Person-against-A-State struggle.
Independent Chinese PEN Center (ICPC)
Ms. Tienchi Martin-Liao, Honorary President, Vice-chair of Writers for Peace Committee of PEN International, writer and translator (Germany)
Chu Cai, President, Publishes of Democratic China, poet (US)
Prof. Yiran Pei, former President, scholar and writer (US)
Shiying Zhao, Vice-president, writer (China)
Dr. Biao Teng, Vice-president, law professor (US)
Ms. Jianzhen Qi, Honorary Director, former Vice-president, writer (Australia)
Zili Yang, Dictor and Secretary-general, editor (US)
Zhengqing Liu, Director of Writers in Prison and Freedom to Writer Committee (WiPC), lawyer and writer (China)
Dr. Yu Zhang, Coordinator of WiPC, writer, editor, translator and retired researcher (Sweden)
Ms. Jianhong Li, Director of Women Writers Committee (WWC), writer (China)
Ms. Wing Mui Tsoi, Coordinator of WWC, writer and retired editor (Hong Kong)
Dr. Biao Chen, Coordinator of Press, Exchange and Translation Committee, editor and translator (US)
Yongpan Zhang, Director, essayist (Canada)
Ms. Li Xiang, Director, poet (US)
Hai Li, Director, essayist (China)
Yongpan Xu, Director, essayist (China)
Dr. Yongyi Song, Member, scholar and emeritus professor (US)
Ms. Minju Yen, Member, writer (Taiwan, ROC)
Ms. Rui Shen, Member, professor, writer, poet and translator (US)
Uyghur PEN Center
Dr. Kaiser A. ÖzHun, President, anthropologist and artist (Sweden)
Dr. Khamit Khamrayev, General Secretary, novelist, writer and translator (Kazakhstan)
Prof. Murat Orhun, publisher, editor in chief of “Izdish” journal (Turkey)
Slovene PEN Center
Ms. Tanja Tuma, President, writer and publisher
Marjan Strojan, former president, poet, journalist and translator
Trieste PEN Center
Dr. Antonio Della Rocca, President, Chair of the Search Committee of PEN International, novelist and poet
Ms. Joanne Leedom-Ackerman，Vice-president of PEN International, former Vice-president of PEN America, Emeritus Director of Poets and Writers, Honorary Director of ICPC, novelist and journalist (US)
Prof. Hori Takeaki - Vice-president of PEN International, Honorary Director of ICPC, writer, journalist and anthropologist (Japan)
Prof. Iman Humaydan, Co-founder, Board Member and former President of PEN Lebanon, Board Member of PEN International, novelist, script writer and researcher (Lebanon)
Tarık Günersel, Secretary and former President of Turkey PEN, former Board Member of PEN International, writer and poet (Turkey)
Ms. Lihua Mo, essayist and retired teacher (Sweden)
Zhengqing Fu, literary critic, poet and translator (Sweden)
Prof. Torbjörn Lodén, scholar and sinologist (Sweden)
(more to join)
Open Letter on Sweden Showing of One Second
To whom it may concern:
My name is Yan Geling. I am the author who wrote the novel The Criminal Lu Yanshi, which director Zhang Yimou optioned in 2011 and on which he based his films Coming Home and One Second.
In March 2020 I wrote and promulgated an essay criticizing the Chinese government’s policy of hiding the truth and punishing those who sounded the alarm about COVID-19, as well as expressing support for the author Fang Fang, whose work was banned after she wrote her book The Wuhan Diaries. ( https://paper-republic.org/pubs/read/hide-hide-hide/ ) As a result of my essay, my work was banned in China. My books were ordered de-shelved, new books could not be published, existing books were forbidden from being reprinted, and my film projects were stopped. I used to derive most of my income from China. Now it is mostly gone, but I believe as an author I have the duty to tell the truth and to use my influence to the benefit of society.
In November 2020, the film One Second was finally allowed to be released. Shortly before its release, I received a phone call from Director Zhang’s artistic advisor, an old friend of mine, apologizing and saying that the Chinese government censors had demanded that my film credit be deleted from the film as a condition for the film’s release.
I was angry but was in no position to change this situation in China. I decided, however, that when this film was released abroad, especially in democratic countries where authors have rights and the rule of law is respected, I would insist on my moral rights as an author and demand that my film credit be restored.
I have been doing this ever since September 2021, when the film was originally shown at high-profile film festivals in Toronto and San Sebastián. I have engaged lawyers in the United States, France, and Germany to write letters and to attempt to reach a settlement by which my film credit is restored. So far, the usual response has been silence. I take this silence as callous indifference to creative artists, and I believe that the non-action in the face of this fact makes the distributors, film festivals and cinemas complicit in the Chinese government’s censorship and suppression of a creative artist, indeed in the theft of her intellectual property.
The New York Times reported on this on July 23 (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/23/movies/zhang-yimou-movie.html), noting the suppressed film credit and the seeming indifference of the film industry. They quoted one of the Chinese producers, Huanxi Media, as saying that the film “has nothing to do with Yan Geling.” They chose not to quote the written message to me from Zhao Yijun, Huanxi’s head of production, in which he quoted the exact credit I was originally given, stated that it was removed at the orders of the Chinese censors, made note of my attempts to have my credit restored abroad and threatened to report me to the China Film Bureau and face a situation where an individual takes on the Chinese state. I don’t know if he ever saw the picture of the Tiananmen tank man, but that was the image his threat evoked in me.
The worldwide licensor of the film, the French company Wild Bunch, now no longer represents this film, but the damage is done and continues: the film has been released without credit to the author in multiple markets, including Germany and Norway. And it is now going to be released in Sweden on October 28.
I have always viewed Sweden as a paragon of civic virtue, where people and the government are not afraid to do the right thing. I call on the distributors and cinemas and streaming services to restore my film credit. Swedes are undoubtedly more aware than most of the extremes to which the Chinese Party-State will go to suppress free expression, since one of your citizens, the publisher Gui Minhai, was kidnapped in Thailand in 2015, rendered to China and remains there serving a ten-year sentence on bogus charges.
If one has the will, doing the right thing is not that hard. So far, the US streaming company MUBI has put my picture and credit on its web page, and the Yorck Cinema Group of Berlin has run a film trailer with my credit before and after each screening and pasted addenda on their movie posters stating my film credit. This is easily implemented and does not involve physically manipulating the film.
All I am asking for is credit where credit is due, the basic respect that one accords to a creative artist when her work is used in another artistic creation. I call on the distributors, cinemas, streaming services and all who screen or market this film in Sweden to restore my film credit.
If they choose not to restore my credit, then I call upon all decent Swedish citizens to boycott this film and to participate in demonstrations against its screening.
签署者： 独立中文笔会 廖天琪——荣誉会长，国际笔会作家和平委员会副主席，德籍华裔作家、编辑和翻译 蔡楚——会长，《民主中国》发行人兼主编，美籍华裔诗人 裴毅然——前会长，旅美华人教授，作家 赵达功——副会长，中国作家 滕彪——副会长，法学博士，旅美华文教授 齐家贞——荣誉理事，前副会长，澳籍华裔作家 谭松——前副会长，旅美华人作家 杨子立——理事兼秘书长，编辑，旅美华文编辑 刘正清——候补理事兼狱中作家和自由写作委员会主任，中国律师 张裕——狱中作家和自由写作委员会协调人，工学博士，旅居瑞典华人编辑和翻译，退休研究员 小乔——理事兼女作家委员会主任，中国作家 蔡咏梅——女作家委员会协调人，香港作家和退休编辑 华泽——女作家委员会委员，旅美华文作家 陈标——发行交流和翻译委员会协调人，文学博士，旅美澳籍华裔作家、编辑和翻译 张永攀——理事，旅加华文自由撰稿人 向莉——理事，旅美华文诗人 李海——理事，中国自由撰稿人 徐永海——理事，中国自由撰稿人 宋永毅——会员，美籍华裔荣休教授，作家和编辑 颜敏如——会员，瑞士籍台裔华人作家 沈睿——会员，美国华裔教授，作家、诗人和翻译 杨建利——会员，政治学和数学博士，旅美华人学者，人权活动家，中国前政治犯 王庆民——会员，旅欧华人作家和国际政治研究者
维吾尔笔会 凯撒·厄兹匈（Kaiser A ÖzHun)——会长，文化人类学博士，瑞典籍维吾尔学者和艺术家 哈米特彦·哈姆拉耶夫（Khaamajn Khamrayev）——秘书长，工学博士，哈萨克斯坦籍维吾尔小说家和文学翻译 穆拉特·奥尔洪（Murat Orhun）——理事，工学博士，土耳其籍维吾尔教授，发行人和编辑
斯洛文尼亚笔会 塔尼娅·图马（Tanja Tuma）——会长，作家和发行人 马瑞安·斯特罗安（Marjan Strojan）——前会长, 国际笔会作家和平委员会前主席，诗人、记者和翻译
的里雅斯特笔会 安东尼奥·德拉·罗卡（Antonio Della Rocca）, 会长，国际笔会遴选委员会主席、前理事，意大利小说家和诗人
丹麦笔会 米莱·儒德（Mille Rode）——秘书长, 记者 安妮·玛丽·埃尔纳斯 (Anne Marie Ejrnæs)——前理事，作家
克罗地亚笔会 托米卡·巴捷西奇（Tomica Bajsic）——会长，作家、诗人和艺术家
乔安尼·利多姆-阿克曼(Joanne Leedom-Ackerman )——国际笔会副会长，美国笔会前副会长，独立中文笔会荣誉理事，美国小说家、编辑和记者 崛武昭——国际笔会副会长，日本笔会前副会长，独立中文笔会荣誉理事，日本人类学教授，作家和记者 尤金·舒尔金（Eugene Schoulgin）——国际笔会副会长，挪威作家和学者 伊曼·胡麦丹（Iman Humaydan）——国际笔会理事，黎巴嫩笔会理事、前会长, 黎巴嫩教授、小说家和编剧 塔里克·古纳赛尔（Tarık Günersel）——国际笔会前理事，土耳其笔会秘书、前会长，土耳其作家和诗人。 茉莉——瑞典籍华裔作家，退休教师，中国前政治犯 傳正明——瑞典籍华裔学者、作家、诗人和翻译 罗多弼（Torbjörn Lodén）——瑞典汉学家，荣休教授 （更多）
自 2021 年 9 月这部影片最初在多伦多和圣塞巴斯蒂安备受瞩目的电影节上映以来，我一直在这么做。我已聘请美国、法国和德国的律师写信，试图达成和解，以恢复我的影片贡献署名。至今为止，通常反应是沉默。我将这种沉默视为对原创艺术家的冷酷无情，我认为面对这一事实的不作为，使发行商、电影节和电影院成为中国政府对原创艺术家审查和打压的同谋，实际上是盗窃其知识产权。
今年7 月 23日，《纽约时报》对此进行了报道 （https://cn.nytimes.com/culture/20220725/zhang-yimou-movie/），指出电影贡献署名受压制及电影业貌似冷漠。有些人引用《一秒钟》的中国出品方之一欢喜传媒集团的说法，这部影片“与严歌苓无关”。他们选择不引欢喜传媒制片主任赵毅军给我的书面短信，“原来在影片片尾写有：‘受严歌苓女士作品启发 特此致谢’的文字。但在送审时，国家电影局明令删去。”他注意到我试图在国外恢复贡献署名，并威胁要向中国电影局举报我，使我面临以一人抵抗中国一国的状况。我不知道他是否看过天安门坦克人的照片，但那是其威胁在我心中唤起的形象。
这部影片的全球许可方法国 Wild Bunch 公司现在已不再代理，但损害已经造成并仍在继续：该影片已在多个市场（包括德国和挪威）发行，但未注明原作者。现在，它将于10月28日在瑞典发行。
只要一个人有意愿，做正确的事并不难。至今，美国串流媒体公司 MUBI 已经将我的照片和署名放在其网页上，柏林的约克电影集团（Yorck Cinema Group）在每次放映前后都使用有我贡献署名的电影预告片，并在其电影海报上粘贴了有我影片贡献署名的附录。这都很容易实现，并不涉及对影片进行物理处理。