Artist Ai Weiwei, who spent several months in detention after being effectively “disappeared”, is now considering whether to continue with his activism or to heed the calls of family and friends who are asking him to keep a low profile. From Reuters:
Asked about calls by his family to take a break from activism and relax for a while, Ai said: “Frankly everybody said so — friends, family, relatives.
“So I have to really examine and think. I have been trying to find a way to deal with the rest of the time.”
Ai endured intense psychological pressure during his secretive detention and faces the threat of prison for alleged subversion, according to a source familiar with his detention.
Ai’s incarceration ignited an outcry from many Western governments about China’s tightening grip on dissent that started in February, when dozens of rights activists and dissidents were detained and arrested.
In the interview, Ai said there were thousands of professional artists in China but not one had piped up to ask what was happening during his detention.
“Nobody dared ask one question,” he said, adding he was advising young artists to leave China because “this is crazy.”
Read more about Ai’s detention via CDT.