Posts Tagged ‘activist’

Ai Weiwei’s Documentaries Available on YouTube

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

By Isabella Tianzi Cai

World-renowned artist Ai Weiwei is responsible for bold, iconic works such as the Beijing Olympic Stadium, but he has proven to be just as daring as a political activist. Ai has leveraged his celebrity status to speak openly about human rights abuses in China as few public figures have dared. As Evan Osnos writes in a 2010 profile on Ai in The New Yorker, “His cultural and political footprint is unique in a country where people generally face a choice between thriving within the confines of the system or shouting from the shadows outside it. For the moment, he is attempting to do both, and nobody is at all sure where that leads.” His efforts have not gone unpunished; earlier this month, his million-dollar studio in Shanghai was demolished by the government, who deemed the building illegal (this despite that the government had approved the building in 2008).

As part of his activism, Ai has become a prolific filmmaker documenting ugly cases of human rights violations in China. Below are 19 videos produced by Ai Weiwei Studio that have been posted to YouTube, many of which, as well as others, can be found on Ai Weiwei’s YouTube Channel. The shortest is four-and-a-half-minute long; the longest lasts three hours and 40 minutes. At the moment, most of them are without English subtitles. As YouTube is blocked in China, these videos can be accessed in China through the links listed on this site.

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