This famous photo of Nie Yuanzi's poster helped spark the Cultural Revolution.
Nie Yuanzi (Chinese: 聂元梓; pinyin: Niè Yuánzǐ; born April 5, 1921) is a Chinese academic who taught philosophy at Peking University. She is primarily known for her May 25, 1966 Big-character poster criticizing Peking University for being controlled by the bourgeoisie. This was a factor in the Cultural Revolution. She initially supported the persecution of other academics, but later disagreed on the course the Cultural Revolution was taking and tried to quit her position in the Red Guards. In 1968 she was detained and would remain in prison for 18 years. She is critical of the post-Mao Chinese regime and has expressed a desire for greater freedom of opinion.