AI WEIWEI’S BLOG. Writings, Interviews, and Digital Rants, 2006-2009
- The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA
- 320 p.
The remarkable effort to gather together such a quantity of texts and posts could easily have resulted in just a slightly pretentious anthology of pieces that weren’t necessarily interesting in themselves, and only worked as a testament to the battle for freedom of speech and expression undertaken by one of China’s most famous intellectuals. But the fact is, they really are interesting reading. Giving non-Mandarin readers unprecedented access to the comments and reflections posted by the artist/architect/dissident over four years (a period that considering the Chinese pace of things equals at least two European decades) they arguably constitute the most chilling and comprehensive source of information and reflection available on many different issues, from city planning to the justice system, from the Olympic frenzy to workers’ rights. And they powerfully render the meaning of what is like to speak out in China: in the end, the blog long hosted on blog.sina.com.cn/aiweiwei was shut down by the authorities.