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May 19, 2011

Why Bother with WeiWei?

Props to Dazed for a cover that doesn’t skimp on celebrity culture — or powerful photography — but offers a statement, amplified by this confrontational gaze, about politics and human rights. Sadly, too many corporate media cover stories — given the opportunity to elevate the public dialogue — are driven by the former but only pander to the latter.

At a moment when the American government compromised by the pro-business White House makeover and the amount of leverage China has when it comes to American finance, why mess with WeiWei?

(photo: unattributed online)

  • Nigel Lendon

    Michael, your point is uncharacteristically ambiguous? Do you mean, why does the PRC bother to “mess” with Ai Weiwei? Or? I recommend Thomas Berghuis’ reflections (with links to many) here:

    • Michael Shaw

      Sorry about that. I was being sarcastic, as in: why should domestic media bother? 

  • Noname

    I am pretty sure this picture shows the scar from the brain surgery Ai had in Germany.

    He was beaten by Chongqing police (if memory serves) when he was investigating the years-old corruption that led to the poorly built schools that collapsed in the huge Wenchuan earthquake.

    Some time later, he traveled to Germany, and during that time needed emergency surgery to relieve pressure in his brain.

    So this picture is meaningful, a testament to the brutality of the Chinese government.

  • tinwoman

    I remember his installation in Munich.  A beautiful and talented artist and human being .  I hope he is freed soon.  Let’s keep pressure on the Chinese government by keeping his name in the news.

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