Ai Weiwei (艾未未) on Citizenship and Freedom

The 1984 BBS is a private online forum that has over 7000 registered members in China. Ai Weiwei, who had just returned to his Beijing home from an international trip few days earlier, was a special guest for a one hour online chat with members of the forum from 8 to 9 pm, December 17, 2009. CDT has translated excerpts of the Q & A; the full text (in Chinese) is here.
Songshinan (Chat host): You were just named by 《Southern Wind》 magazine as the 2009 Man of Public Interest. You deserve it.
In 2009, you and your team found at least 5000 names of children who died during the Sichaun earthquake. Your action warmed thousands of families, moved inumerous conscientious Chinese and made them feel angry and inspired, and also cornered the stupid Sichuan government.
In your own unique way, you have challenged the authoritarian windmill, used courage to press the cowardice of the authorities, used playfulness to highlight the authorities’ stupidity, used persistence to reveal the authorities’ crudeness, used your action to prove authorities’ falseness.
In my heart, you are more than the man of 2009; you are the largest Grass-Mud Horse in China this year.
Questions from forum members:
fatherofmissingfish: Hi Old Ai. 2009 was a hard year.  There was Huang Qi, then Tan Zuoren [inprisoned]. The government repression of rights defenders has been extremely harsh. What do you think about the future of the human rights movement?
Ai Weiwei: The government is protecting their power; citizens are defending their rights. No matter how hard defending rights is, this is the only way.
ririxishou:Hi teacher Ai. [In Chinese, "teacher" is a term of respect] I want to ask one question.  Which dimension of change do you think is most important for today’s China: Is it immediate demands

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3 Responses to Ai Weiwei (艾未未) on Citizenship and Freedom

  1. [...] This China Digital Times post has been sitting open in my browser for several days now. If you’re stuck behind the GFW, it’s a question and answer Chinese artist and social commentator Ai Weiwei did with a private Chinese BBS forum, full of social questions and snappy answers. It’s worth a read, but one question and answer jumped out in particular: jencoxu: Do you still have any hope for China? Do you think the next round of reforms will be top down or bottom up? [...]

  2. annunci says:

    Thanks for the information you give

  3. [...] quiet, either). Besides setting up the Earthquake Student Names Citizen’s Investigation, which found around 5000 names of children who died during the Sichuan earthquake, the artist has been busy [...]