Björk’s Tibet protest offends Chinese fans

The Guardian, 5 mars 2008

First Steven Spielberg upset China’s internet users after resigning as adviser to the Olympics over Darfur. Now Björk is under attack after shouting “Tibet ! Tibet !” at the end of her song Declare Independence at a concert in Shanghai.

Her remark was not reported in official media, but led to criticism when it began to circulate on the web. While China’s 58-year occupation of Tibet remains controversial abroad, most Chinese see Tibet as a part of their country and regard calls for its independence as intrusive and divisive.

One fan said it was “disrespectful” and “very selfish” to raise the issue while visiting China.

The Icelandic singer first dedicated Declare Independence to Greenland and the Faroe Islands, which still have formal links to Denmark, and the song’s video shows her in clothing bearing their flags. She dedicated the song to Kosovo while performing in Japan last month.

Its lyrics include : “Don’t let them do that to you. Raise your flag !”

Matt Whitticase, spokesman for the London-based Free Tibet Movement, said it was delighted by her remarks, contrasting them with Gordon Brown and David Miliband’s “shameful” decision not to raise the issue publicly on their recent visits to Beijing.
“Speaking out while in China has shown it is perfectly possible to make a high-profile visit and raise the ongoing plight of the Tibetan people,” he said.

Björk’s representatives could not be contacted for comment last night.

publié dans The Guardian