Recovering “Visiting a Re-Education Camp in Xinjiang” Series


Originally published in March of 2019, Youtube account CHINA LIVE posted a five-part series entitled, “Visiting a Re-Education Camp in Xinjiang” which recorded the daily lives of individuals in re-education facilities. Each episode followed an individual throughout camp and covered topics including family relations, removal of religious garb, and integration into e-commerce platforms.

On March 28, 2019, the Chinese government published a white paper entitled, “The Fight Against Terrorism and Extremism and Human Rights Protection in Xinjiang“. This paper outlined the strategy employed within re-educational facilities to “de-radicalize” the region. The paper provides an overview of the centres’ curriculum which included lessons on the Chinese language, vocational skills, and courses on eradication of religious extremism.

These videos provide insight into how the Chinese government was viewing these centres as a successful means to mold Turkic Muslim individuals’ minds in Xinjiang.

Recovery Process

The Xinjiang Documentation Project team was made aware in July of 2021, that this series had been removed from CHINA LIVE’s platform and the account was subsequently deleted. Staff members at the project first reached out to the contacts at CHINA LIVE to discuss the removal of these Youtube videos. However, the organization did not comment or reply to the requests. The Xinjiang Documentation Project collaborated with the Internet Archive and the Wayback Machine to recover the following videos.

Since then, the “Visiting a Re-Education Camp in Xinjiang” has been made publically available through the Xinjiang Documentation Project’s Youtube page and below.

The first episode, “Trainees Learn E-Commerce”, follows an individual in a re-education centre, who is being trained to use the internet so that he can have the skills to integrate back into mainstream society.
The second episode, “Husband Learns to Respect Wife”, shows how male attendees of re-education centres are taught to care for and respect their wives. While women are taught how to wear appropriate makeup.
The third episode, “Daily Life of Trainees”, examines the daily life of trainees and their interactions with teachers while they prepare for Lunar New Year. This episode seeks the emphasis the bond between staff and individuals in re-education centres.
The fourth episode, “A Girl Unveils Herself and Opens a Beauty Shop”, teaches female attendees that it is more socially acceptable and presentable to remove religious headwear and wear makeup.
The fifth episode, “Mother Finds Her Daughter Prettier”, interviews the mother of a young woman sent to a re-education centre. She claims that her daughter has become prettier and more vibrant. Her daughter reflects on how art prohibits extremist ideologies.