Photo: Screenshot of a video on the Vogue Scandianvia website
A photo showing several models holding protest placards with various slogans, the largest of which read “Free the Uighurs, end all genocides”, was published on Tuesday on the official website of the North European version of the fashion magazine American Vogue. The slogan fabricating accusations against the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwestern China has drawn sharp criticism on Chinese social media.
Vogue Scandinavia is the North European version of the fashion magazine, the first issue of which was published in early August. The photo in question comes from an article published on the website Tuesday, which features designer Louise Xin and claims that her “politically charged presentation proves that a dress can change the world.”
The article indicates that the Xin brand is focusing this season on Xinjiang and the so-called “forced labor” to which the region is subjected. The designer says in the interview that she wants to change “what is unfair” through the effervescence of fashion.
In the center of the photo, two models wearing coats printed in newspapers hold the ends of a large sign reading “Free the Uighurs: End All Genocide.”
Other models are also holding signs with slogans such as “I am with Afghanistan”. But the incendiary and false sign regarding Xinjiang in China is the most striking photo.
The website’s content has captured the attention of Chinese netizens since Wednesday and has sparked boycott calls and sharp criticism on Twitter-like Sina Weibo.
âWhy was such bogus and absurd content allowed to appear on the magazine’s website? Why don’t they want to listen to the voice of local Uighurs in Xinjiang? Numerous videos and reports prove that they are happier and richer after getting rid of poverty with the help of the government, âone netizen commented.
“Free Uighurs should refer to the Uighur people free to live in terror of terrorism, poverty, religious and political brainwashing,” another netizen wrote.
Some netizens have asked Vogue China, another subsidiary of the American fashion magazine, to respond to the incident.
The magazine’s Shanghai office told the Global Times on Thursday it was only in charge of marketing and was unaware of the article, while phone calls to the Beijing office were not answered. .
Chinese netizens also discovered that Xin, a Swedish Chinese designer, started fundraising online right after the article was posted on the website. The fundraiser claims to raise funds to help improve the education problems of Uighur children in Xinjiang.
âHis actions mean ‘now I’m famous and you can give me money’,â one Sina Weibo user commented in an article that received support from others.
The cover of the original issue of the North European version also sparked controversy as the cover featured Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg in woolen clothing, angering some animal activists who branded Thunberg a hypocrite.