Ai Weiwei has become the poster child for Chinese censorship. Ai is probably the most high profile Chinese “dissident” to date even beyond that of 2010 Nobel Laureate, the writer, Liu Xiaobo.
Ai Weiwei has become the poster child for Chinese censorship. Ai is probably the most high profile Chinese “dissident” to date even beyond that of 2010 Nobel Laureate, the writer, Liu Xiaobo. And because of Ai’s international art world status his detainment in China has sparked an international call for his freedom.
Last month at TED, Ai Weiwei had been invited to speak, but due to his situation was unable to attended in person so he sent in a statement via video. TED posted his statement just last week. One of the things that Ai says is that in-spite of the economic freedoms Chinese enjoy today, the lack of human freedoms of speech and to connect, sacrifices its environment, education and Chinese moral stance just to become rich. Ai believes this is unsustainable and will eventually bring about Political unrest in the coming years.
In the meantime, references to Ai Weiwei have been scrubbed out of a transcript from a recent news conference held last week and posted on the Chinese ministry’s website.
Will Ai Weiwei will be the new Mohamed Bouazizi in China, and inspire a new Tiananmen Square uprising? Probably not but I don’t think his detainment will go the why the Chinese government hopes.