The current volume presents a selection of 126 texts in Uyghur posted in public spaces, translated, and annotated for this book. The author started photographing Uyghur texts in 2008 at the time of the Beijing olympics and continued to do so during 2009, the year of the so-called “Urumqi uprising” of July 5. This event generated a stream of texts posted in public spaces that reflected the efforts made by the authorities to re-establish control. In the course of his travels in the years thereafter the author continued to add to the corpus of photographed Uyghur texts. At the same time he started collecting, as comprehensively as possible, various types of folders, brochures, handouts, and product wrappings with texts illustrating aspects of Uyghur culture and society. The texts, published here for the first time, are primary source materials documenting a wide variety of aspects of daily life of the Uyghurs in Shinjang. The implicit messages or explicit references contained in many of these texts give them significance as clues towards an understanding of the existential realities they reflect or illustrate.
This book tells the story of the contacts and conflicts between muslims and christians in Southeast Asia during the Dutch colonial history from 1596 until 1950. The author draws from a great variety of sources to shed light on this period: the letters of the colonial pioneer Jan Pietersz. Coen, the writings of 17th century Dutch theologians, the minutes of the Batavia church council, the contracts of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) with the sultans in the Indies, documents from the files of colonial civil servants from the 19th and 20th centuries, to mention just a few. The colonial situation was not a good starting-point for a religious dialogue. With Dutch power on the increase there was even less understanding for the religion of the muslims . In 1620 J.P. Coen, the strait-laced calvinist, had actually a better understanding and respect for the muslims than the liberal colonial leaders from the early 20th century, convinced as they were of western supremacy.