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Ai Weiwei A Man Of Courage And Determination

2156 words - 9 pages

Ashwin DyreProfessor FlippinEnglish 2149 October 2014Ai Weiwei - DONT PRINT ) NEEEDDDD TITLEAlthough perhaps not world renowned just yet, Ai Weiwei is inching ever closer to becoming the world's most influential political artist. Depicting his art through various and creative mediums such as architecture, sculpture, photography and film has helped him reach a broadened audience, inclusive of both art enthusiasts and the general public. Using this broadened audience to his advantage, Ai Weiwei seeks to spread his beliefs and criticisms across the world, bringing awareness of what otherwise might have gone unnoticed. I believe that through his own detainment and the unjust detainment of many others, Ai Weiwei, a contemporary Chinese artist, is changing society by bringing global awareness about the injustices served to those standing up for their beliefs. And as we will see, Ai himself, along with his art and the stories of dissidents from all over will serve as living testaments to this prevailing injustice today.In 2011, Ai Weiwei was detained and jailed for 3 months by the Chinese government for "subversion of state power." This is a phrase used by the Chinese government to justify the arrests of activists. However, as Pellett says, Ai was actually arrested for his tweets and blogs critiquing the government (3). Ai himself says, "Nobody could ever have imagined something like this would happen: you're accused by the State, and everybody supports you" (1). Within hours, news spread globally on the mysterious disappearance of the progressive artist. Internationally, Britain, the United States, and the European Union were all actively involved in speculating over the detention of Ai and the wider search for activists and dissidents ("US Department of State" 1). The government's crackdown for activists didn't stop with the arrest of Ai Weiwei, as they continued to look for any possible people assisting Weiwei. After no word on the whereabouts of Ai, worry begain to set in internationally and politicians soon began to speak out. According to, Mark Toner, the deputy spokesperson for the US Department of State firmly took a stand on the detention of Ai, and urged the Chinese government for his release. According to Michael Posner, William Hague, a former secretary of state, also called for a clarification on the detainment of Ai and asked for a statement on his well being (6). Global concern and awareness spread beyond the US, and local questioning from the ICA who also expressed concern. After just 36 hours and no word from the Chinese, the EU Union, Germany, and France also respectfully voiced their opinions. Christine Bennett states that Guido Westerwelle, the German foreign minister at the time, urged for clarification on the charges and asked for his release (2). The nations of the world had outcried for a justifiable explanation to Ai Weiwei's disappearance. Tracy Emin, an English artist said, "I hope he is safe. He is an...

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