Polish Illustrator Greta Samuel Persecuted for Satirizing Xi Jinping Stands with HK! By Chapman Chen
Updated: Jun 8
Summary: Polish illustrator Greta Samuel works for a company in London called Culture Trips. Recently she published an illustration depicting Xi Jinping spreading the Chinese virus. Accusing her of xenophobia and of compromising the company's interests, her boss has demanded her to delete the picture, and she refused. On May 29, the company will hold a disciplinary hearing on her case and might fire her. Greta on May 22 amicably gave HKBNews an interview. "I struck upon the idea of drawing the illustration when conversing with my church friends," she told the reporter. Greta pointed out that the company probably had close business ties with China. She's shocked that her free speech was denied in Britain -- supposedly part of the free world. She would not disclose her exact whereabouts due to death threats from the 50¢ Army from China. Greta agreed that 2020 Hong Kong was similar to 1939 Poland. She said that though she had never been to HK and China, she stood with Hongkongers, for otherwise the evil force will expand to the entire world. She stressed that her Christian faith had given her immense strength and courage in telling what's right from what's wrong, and in fighting injustice. Below please find the full interview transcribed:
Why did you draw the Controversial Illustration in the First Place?
During my conversations with my new covenant church friends, I struck upon the idea of drawing the illustration about Xi Jinping spreading the Chinese virus. We were discussing the damage that the CCP regime is doing around the world. Culture Trip claims that I have violated its work policy through my discrimination against the Chinese people in that illustration. But that is not true. I am against the CCP but not against the Chinese people!
[Editor's note: According to its website, Culture Trip, as a travel/media company, has business ties with Chinese cities like Beijing and Shanghai.]
Have you ever been to Hong Kong or China?
I have never been to Hong Kong or China. I just got information about Hong Kong protests and I feel really connected with you Hongkongers. It is very important to speak out. While I am not a great speaker, I can draw. Illustration is the tool closest to my heart.
Why do you Close One Eye in one of your FB pictures?
To show solidarity with Hong Kong people who are fighting so briefly for freedom, risking even their lives and health. I am aware of the first-aid nurse who was shot in the eye by the police in one of the protests in Hong Kong last year. The government does not care about human lives. It is necessary to say stop, otherwise they will win. That is also why I put down on one of my facebook posts, Stand strong with Hong Kong", in relation to the national security law to be imposed on Hong Kong by Beijing. When something bad is happening, you are not supposed to pretend that everything is alright, otherwise you will end up in a bad place. You got to react and defend your freedom. When we see people fighting for freedom in a certain place, it is our duty to help them. Fighting for your freedom is fighting for my freedom, because otherwise the evil force will keep growing and eventually the bad guys will come for me.
Do you see any Similarities between 2020 HK and 1939 Poland?
Yes! Freedom is the key word. It can be really difficult. Poland lost physically in 1939, yet we won our freedom at the end of the day, as our spirit never died. My country was not supposed to exist; we were attacked from different directions, but we are still here today. When guys tell you that you don't have a right to exist, you got to keep fighting. China is so big while Hong Kong is so small, but your persevering spirit can overcome even powerful evils. That's why I feel a kind of connection with Hong Kong people.
Unashamed about the Coming Hearing
The company's disciplinary hearing on me will take place next Friday. I'm not ashamed; I don't feel guilty, I am not scared. I have nothing to hide, but I have been shocked that something like this has actually happened in the UK, which is supposed to be part of the Free World, instead of China. They have denied my free speech. I will not take one single step back, for I have done nothing wrong.
Will you Bring the Case to Employment Tribunal if you're Fired?
I have yet to discuss with my lawyer what step to take next. [Note: The disciplinary hearing has been postponed several times, so maybe the company is hesitating as to whether to fire Greta Samuel or not, because the incident has already become an international scandal.]
Are you Concerned about your Personal Safety?
Yes, as I have received death threats from the 50 Cent Army from China, I am concerned about my personal safety, which is why I will not disclose my exact whereabouts.
Is your Christian Faith of any Help in your Current Predicament?
My Christian faith in God has helped me a lot. It shows me what is good versus what is bad; what is right and what is wrong. Before my conversion to Christianity, I just worked for money. My rebirth has changed my life completely; God has given me immense strength and courage in the face of Evil. Now I work to glorify God and to help other beings.
A Short Biography of Greta Samuel
Greta Samuel is a Polish illustrator and educator. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Her illustrations, comics, and graphics have been exhibited and awarded in Poland, the USA, the UK, Holland, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Italy, Hungary, and Ukraine. She is currently working as a Senior Editorial Illustrator in one of the largest British startups – Culture Trip in London. In 2019, the artist converted to Jesus and joined the Megachurch – a project by New Convenant Church in Lublin, Poland.
Greta has published illustrations about the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. And recently she posted in a website unrelated to her company an illustration about Chairman Xi Jinping spreading the Chinese coronavirus from a Pandora's Box. Since then she has received death threats from the Fifty Cent Army from China, and her British company has demanded her to delete the illustration. She refused and the company is going to hold a disciplinary hearing on her case on May 29, and may fire her.
Postscript: Greta Samuel on May 30 informed HKBNews that Culture Trip "They are backing away! HR writes to me that if I post on my site and Behance that I represent my own political views, not companies, it will be good. After consultation, we decided to do it."