“The Art of Dissent”: Ai Weiwei Meets Jacob Applebaum

“The Art of Dissent”: Ai Weiwei Meets Jacob Applebaum

Filmmaker Laura Poitras—who is best known for receiving classified documents from and then interviewing NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden—recently traveled to Beijing where she filmed an art collaboration between Ai Weiwei and computer security expert and hacker Jacob Applebaum. From Poitras’ introduction to the resulting New York Times “OpDoc”:

Ai Weiwei and Jacob Appelbaum are artists, journalists, dissidents, polymaths — and targets. Their respective governments, China and the United States, monitor their every move. They have been detained and interrogated. Ai cannot leave China, and Appelbaum is advised not to return to the United States. They are separated from their families. Ai has been imprisoned and beaten by the police. Yet each continues his work and speaks out against government wrongdoing.

[…] During the encounter, Ai and Appelbaum continually filmed and photographed each other. Between their cameras and mine, we created a zone of hyper-surveillance. Almost everything was documented. Just outside Ai’s studio hung surveillance cameras installed by the Chinese government. [Source]

Applebaum responded to the New York Times piece on Twitter:

In April, Kashmir Hill recorded the meeting between Ai, Poitras and Applebaum for Fusion (via CDT).


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