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Kodak deletes Instagram post by photographer who called out Chinese oppression of Uyghurs


The Kodak headquarters in Rochester, New York.

Kodak deleted an Instagram post featuring the work of a photographer who criticized Uyghur suppression.
Patrick Wack’s images of Xinjiang, China, were deleted after blowback from Beijing supporters.
Kodak apologized on WeChat, saying: “We will continue to respect the Chinese government.”

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Kodak deleted an Instagram post featuring photos from the Xinjiang region of China, where the government has been accused of human rights violations against the majority-Muslim Uyghur people, after blowback from Beijing supporters, according to The New York Times.

The post featured the work of French photographer Patrick Wack, who is releasing a book of images from his multiple trips to Xinjiang between 2016 and 2019.

In the deleted post, Wack described his images as a visual narrative of Xinjiang’s “abrupt descent into an Orwellian dystopia,” The Times reports.

China has been accused of cracking down on the Uyghur people by forcing them into re-education camps, surveilling them, controlling birth rates, destroying mosques and shrines, and supporting settlement in Xinjiang of China’s majority race, the Han.

A post shared by Kodak (@kodak)

After receiving backlash from Chinese social media users, the post was taken down by Kodak, which subsequently released an apology on the site, The Times reports.

The company said that the content of the post “was not authored by Kodak” and its views “do not represent those of Kodak and are not endorsed by Kodak.”

“Kodak’s Instagram page is intended to enable creativity by providing a platform for promoting the medium of film … We apologize for any misunderstanding or offense the post may have caused,” the post says.

According to Hong Kong Free Press, Kodak also apologized on its WeChat page, a popular social media website in China, blaming the post on “management loopholes.”

A post shared by Patrick Wack (@patwack)

A post shared by Patrick Wack (@patwack)

A post shared by Patrick Wack (@patwack)

“For a long time, Kodak has maintained a good relationship with the Chinese government and has been in close cooperation with various government departments. We will continue to respect the Chinese government and the Chinese law,” the statement read, according to Hong Kong Free Press.

“We will keep ourselves in check and correct ourselves, taking this as an example of the need for caution.”

Neither Kodak nor Wack immediately responded to Insider’s request for comment on Thursday.

Wack told The Times that a Kodak social media manager was the first to reach out to him, taking an interest in his work.

He said that this manager reached out to him after the post was taken down to apologize, saying the decision had been made by upper management, The Times reports.

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