Why Being Able To Mock People In Power Is Essential For Democracy

Vicky Xiuzhong Xu has seen through the looking glass.

With the world focusing on the growing protests in Hong Kong between the government and civilians, we’re seeing different means of protest that people use to both defy and criticise governments on a universal scale and a discussion about what a democracy actually is.

Journalist and stand-up comedian Vicky Xiuzhong Xu is a leader in more fields than one. This year’s guest speaker at The Inevitable Annual Inaugural Chaser Lecture, Xu was born and raised in China but after a gap year in Australia, noticed discrepancies between what she was taught about the treatment of citizens at the hands of the government in particular the events of Tiananmen Square in 1989.

GOAT sat down with Vicky Xiuzhong Xu to talk about the importance of humour when approaching dark subjects, being the target of angered Chinese authorities and why it’s important to be able to mock people in power under a healthy democracy.

Xu’s description of comedy being a coping mechanism proves that she’s a perfect guest lecturer for The Chaser, who are notorious for using skits and jokes to critique the government.

But this is a freedom that many people in China don’t have and Xu explaining that she would make jokes to friends about being imprisoned in China shows not only the complexity of her situation but the inherent dangers of speaking out.

Vicky Xiuzhong Xu will be the guest lecturer at The Inevitable Annual Inaugural Chaser Lecture which is taking place at The University of Sydney’s Great Hall on Thursday 22 August with all proceeds from the event going to the Human Rights Foundation.

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