The Silk Road of Pop Documentary – Xinjiang

The Silk Road of Pop from smokesignalprojects on Vimeo.

On 18th August Asia House is screening ‘The Silk Road of Pop’, one of the very few documentaries to come of Xinjiang Province in China. The film is a portrait of the explosive pop scene among the Uyghur community in Xinjiang.

It was filmed during 2009 and uses music as an area to understand what it means to be young and Uyghur in China.


The film is centred around the story of Ay, a young music fan. Apprehensive about her own life choices as a young Uyghur woman in China and curious about the outside world, she turns to music for answers and is drawn to musicians who mirror her struggles in their songs. The film follows the trails left by Ay’s interest in music, documenting her influences and portraying her musical idols. A breath-taking journey unfolds, leading to traditional musicians uncovering the age-old roots of the Uyghur music culture in Kashgar, metal bands combining local folk music & Western hard rock in their wild performances, and hip-hop crews honing their skills in the smoky basements of communist block towers.

The Silk Road of Pop was produced and directed by Sameer Farooq, Ursula Engel and Stijn Deklerck. It was released in London on 18 August 2013.

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