Kurash Sultan

(China/Sweden.   21 July 1959 – 29 October 2006)


The Uighurs, an indigenous people in East Turkestan in north-western China, are struggling to keep their language and their culture. The Uighur composer, musician and poet Kurash Sultan, was imprisoned and tortured by the authorities in East Turkestand, and many of his songs were banned.

With the help of United Nations, he came to Sweden where he settled for a life in exile, and performed with the renowned Ale Möller Band, among others. He died in Sweden in 2006.

This interview was recorded by Marie Korpe, Freemuse, in Copenhagen, Denmark, in August 2003.

Kurash Sultan
Kurash Sultan

Kurash Sultan, what can you tell us about your personal experience with music censorship in East Turkestan?

Swedish version
Interview, Swedish version

Chinese version
Interview, Chinese version

Uyghur version
Interview, Uyghur version

Please find English transcription below

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Kurash Sultan

“I come from Uighuristan, in Swedish also called East Turkistan. In 1999 I came to Sweden through the help from United Nations. I came to Sweden because of political reasons. I wrote many freedom songs against the government pressure and the Chinese communist regime. Then I was imprisoned in China for three years. After that I released four albums in Kyrgyzstan. One album is called “Wake up”. Then I was put in prison for nine months in Kyrgyzstan and finally through the help of UN I came to Sweden.

Freedom is very important to musicians because music is freedom. For me music is freedom. I have talked to a missionary, and they say that for God there are two languages – the Bible and the nature. But I say No – I think there are three languages – music is the third language. I think all people in the whole world can listen to music and play music. Then all people will be free and all wars will come to an end.”

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