Author: Walter Fu

Shelter, Knowledge, Activism: A Refuge in the Canadian Forest for Political Exiles and Intellectual Dissidents of Totalitarian Regimes

Studio: MArch Thesis

Advisor: Inderbir Riar

Year: 2020-2021

Project Description

Issues of civil rights have been thrust into the spotlight due to the events in Hong Kong and China, with numerous attacks against journalists, activists and others who have spoken out against the censorship of free ideas and the ongoing genocide of the Uyghur people in the XUAR.
The project, a retreat for scholars, activists and political refugees, expresses my belief in protecting the intellectual freedoms and the rights of those being persecuted by totalitarian powers for voicing their ideas and opinions. The project seeks to help persecuted intellectuals, journalists, activists and other by working in collaboration with the Carleton University branch of Scholars at Risk, an organization dedicated to protecting threatened scholars, preventing attacks on higher education, and promoting academic freedom and related values worldwide. The project seeks to shelter and nurture these activists and free thinkers who find themselves in political exile, many of whom live in fear of persecution, sheltering from the reach of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and other oppressive regimes around the world.
Beyond a remote village in Gatineau Park, the project proposes to burrow itself in the dense forests of the conservation park, removed from the eyes of the city and shrouded in the calming wilderness. The retreat will grant the means and resources for scholars to continue their academic pursuits and activists to continue their work as leaders and free thinkers. It is to be a place to nurture, grow and support individuals in their fight for human and civil rights while building strong lasting relationships throughout their stay.