Monday, August 17, 2009

Ai Weiwei

“Why are you so concerned about society? That is always the question. And my answer is simple: Because you are an artist, you have to associate yourself with freedom of expression.”
Ai Weiwei
30 or so police officers raided a hotel room in Sichuan last week, where Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei, was staying. Weiwei had travelled to Sichuan to testify at the trial of the activist Tan Zuoren. The police officers however, successfully detained Weiwei and prevented the artist from testifying.

Zuoren was charged with "subversion" for collecting information pertinent to the deaths of the school children, after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. A project which Weiwei has also been involved in.

Weiwei and Zuroen have been involved in tackling the Chinese Government's opacity regarding the school children's death.

The Chinese Government repeatedly refused to release a list of the names of the dead school children.

Weiwei compiled his own list, assembled from his independent investigations into the Sichuan earthquake.

Weiwei's list named 5, 194 school children.

According to reports, Weiwei's list prompted the Government to release a student death toll, May 2009.

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