Liao Yiwu is a Chinese writer. He has received numerous awards for his work of reportage, The Corpse Walker, and his prison memoir, For a Song and a Hundred Songs. He has been living in Berlin, Germany, since 2011, when he escaped a travel ban by walking across the Chinese border with Myanmar.


The Tanks and the People

A Chinese citizen now known as Tank Man, blocking a line of tanks heading east on Chang'an Avenue, Tiananmen Square, Beijing, June 5, 1989

Twenty-five years have gone by, we have all grown old. But Tank Man in these pictures is still so young. From far away, his white shirt looks like a lily in summer, pure and unblemished. Tanks stopping in front of a lily. A historical moment, a poetic moment. And on the other side of that moment, maybe three thousand lives were taken away, to be forgotten.