Waves Against the Dawn

Annetta Fotopoulos reads a poetry anthology in commemoration of Liu Xiaobo

A hot-blooded expression of collective grief and grievance at a time when such politically incorrect expression is being systematically silenced and erased from public consciousness, The Contemporary: A Poetry Anthology in Commemoration of Liu Xiaobo is at once a political statement, an artistic achievement, and a platform for the expression of uncensored human emotions. Inspired by Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben’s definition of “the contemporary,” the collection shows Liu Xiaobo—the poet, thinker and political activist at the vanguard of the pro-democracy movement in China who published dozens of essays incisively analyzing and criticizing contemporary Chinese society and politics— to be an exemplary “contemporary”: removed enough from his own time to truly understand it, and bold enough to face down the darkness of contemporary China, place it in juxtaposition to international democracies past and present, and hold it up to the light of public scrutiny.