The core of the great Solidarity movement was the dream of freedom and democracy, understood as an innate right of every human being to decide his or her own fate and to share responsibility for the fate of the nation.



- In Beijing it's the middle of the night. I don't think Liu Xia realizes that an exhibition of her photographic works is opening at this moment in Warsaw, though maybe she'll  find out one day. She's probably standing at her window, smoking a cigarette  and looking out into the darkness that engulfs the city -  Guy Sorman remarked at the opening of the show Silent Force. Photographs.  


On 8 December 2012 Warsaw's  Soho Factory  hosted the opening of the show Silent Force. Photographs. The author of the photos was Liu Xia - poet, painter, photographer and one of the most important figures in modern-day independent Chinese art. Her works, due to political censorship imposed after 1989, have circulated illegally for many years.

In 1996 Liu Xia married Liu Xiaobo - a literary scholar, writer and signatory of Charter 08 - who was was sentenced in 2009 to eleven years in prison for "subversive activities and inciting to overthrow the state system".  When in 2010 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, his wife was was placed under house arrest, without any court sentence.

Exhibition curator Guy Sorman commented:  "The strange little dolls that Liu Xia calls 'hideous infants' (…) were created precisely to mislead the censors, who are insensitive to the complexity and diversity  of the forms of human fate". In one of her poems the artist wrote: "Life among dolls/ Fills me with silent power/ When the world locks the doors/ We communicate through gestures". Cui Weipeng, a professor at the Beijing Cinema Academy, recalled that Liu Xia had started the cycle of the doll photos at the time when she was making monthly visits to her imprisoned husband.  It would be hard to find a more shocking analogy.  "The choice of that medium gave her freedom to express something that would be incomprehensible the suspicious eyes of policemen responsible for censorship...These photos are a means of expression and concealment. They are contraband."

The exhibition was complemented by a showing of the film High Tech, Low Life, directed by Stephen Maing. The documentary was presented in the framework of the "Watch Docs. Human Rights in Film" Festival. The screening was followed by a debate on the freedom of speech in China, with the participation of Guy Sorman and Wiktor Osiatyński.

The exhibition of photos by Liu Xia had earlier been presented in France, Spain and the United States. The main organizer  of the event was the Professor Bronisław Geremek Centre Foundation , partnered by the Helsinki Human Rights Foundation, the Warsaw University  Centre of French Culture and  Francophone Studies , and the town of Boulogne-Billancourt. Gazeta Wyborcza was the media patron.


The exhibition was on at the Soho Factory  (Warsaw, Minska 25/63) until 27 January 2013.