Ai Weiwei (艾未未) is now on Twitter and Fanfou (a China-market Twitter clone), and has just launched a new blog. In order verify his identity to the netizen community, Ai Weiwei posted the below semi-nude / grotesque photographs of himself.
It is just over a year since the Sichuan earthquake in southwestern China. The government has made it clear over and over since then that the crumpled schools and dead and injured students have nothing to do with shoddy construction. State agencies and the media, representing the authority and wisdom of the country, are trying to convince people that the earthquake was so strong that it was inevitable the schools would collapse and pupils die. Since it was fate, it seems, no one should be held responsible.
Once again, the facts have been erased. Rather than value life, the state has issued a long list of abstract numbers. The “scientific investigation” carried out is nothing more than a trick in the game of bureaucracy. Behind every political deal in this country, the first casualties are always the ordinary people who are barely treated as human. With the revolution’s 60th anniversary approaching, they still don’t have the right to vote, or freedom of speech.
The Sichuan disaster is not the first, nor the most wrongful. But all the details of this tragedy will be forgotten; and once again it will be like nothing ever happened. Eventually all these disasters will together create a bizarre miracle called civilisation and evolution. This ancient game is simple and direct. It has longstanding rules. It encourages lies and alters memories. The disaster-makers always get away, while the innocent are always punished.
I call on people to be “obsessed citizens”, forever questioning and asking for accountability. That’s the only chance we have today of a healthy and happy life.
Read also Time’s China Blog on Ai Weiwei’s blog being shut down.
Read more about Ai Weiwei and why he was censored here on CDT.
See also here for more on the Grass Mud Horse in Ai Weiwei’s hand in the top photo.