When I was very young, the Chinese milk scandal happened in China. A famous milk powder brand was exposed for selling its noxious product to infants. Thousands of infants got birth defects because of the milk powder. Six infants died. Five years later, I discovered that the journalist who wrote that report was sent to prison; he paid a high price for trying to save more infants. In the end he lost his family and his career. In a similar case in 2011, Chinese artist and activist Ai Wei Wei disappeared. Ai started a project to research the real reason why so many children lost their lives in an earthquake. The proof he gathered led to the corruption of government on building schools. Before his disappearance, with no explanations, police had beaten him up so badly that he had to go to the hospital. When I grew up and heard this, I was shocked by the arbitrary nature of the authoritative rule. I felt so disappointed and irritated: How could there be such a thing?!

Several years ago, I found out that Ai Wei Wei was unfairly accused by the government of tax evasion in the amount of 15 billion. He disappeared. No one knew where he was. However, there were thousands of people who donated money for his release. Even at midnight, someone threw money to his home. Luckily, Ai Wei Wei finally escaped from the mainland forever. I saw a film about him, Never Sorry, and I’m deeply moved by the people who supported him in his time of need. They not only donated, but they voted for Ai Wei Wei, a whistleblower. My favorite comedian George Carlin said, “This world had been carved up by these rich and authoritative people. “ But what I have seen is that there are still many whistleblowers springing up continuously. Even if they get caught or killed, they will never stop.

Where does their power come from? How can there be such a thing? I was confused.

Before I went abroad to New York, I heard there was a “Me Too Movement in China” exhibition held in China. This was in order to support rape victims in China. It was held in Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu three times, and was banned by the police each time. To avoid any trouble from the authorities, the entire staff of the exhibition remained anonymous. A week later I joined the staff of volunteers who were planning to prepare the fourth “Me Too in China” exhibition in New York. Some of the principal came from China particularly for that. Some are famous activists who escaped from the mainland. Their voices and social media accounts were all deleted by the authorities before. But I remember them. Their work, their voices, have affected me and bring me to a higher level. Someone said they were familiar with some feminists that disappeared for a long time. There are a lot of students who feel the necessity to fight for justice, artists who fight for the voiceless people, and activists who support victims. The experience in preparing the “Me Too in China” exhibition moves me so much. I consider that there are still whistleblowers in our community. There is hope shining in this dark, endless way. We are all Antigones in this cruel 21st century. We fight, we shout, we resist. One week ago, I attended the discussion of Tarana Burke, the founder of the Me Too movement, She gave me an autograph. It said: Dear Adrian: Thank you for pulling the wall forward.”

Our exhibition opened successfully. My face was represented in newspapers. I felt a little afraid, but I never regretted any of it. On the subway to my apartment yesterday, I recalled a comment from an American girl on the exhibition. She was sobbing when she saw our works. “Thank you all for bringing this exhibition to New York”. She asked me to send this message to all of the volunteers. In the car of New York Metro, I saw a subtle light appear in the darkness outside, flashing very quickly. How can there be such a thing? Seems like the most gorgeous humanity was smiling at me for a very short moment.

Adrian Gu is a freshman majoring in Computer Arts at SVA.