When was the last time an artist commanded this much attention on an international scale? Ai Weiwei has still not been heard from or released, and China is indignant at the world’s outcry of protest. Why the fuss for one lowly criminal? seems to approximate the Party line .
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei says Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is a suspected criminal and foreign support for him has confused and angered the Chinese people. (article)
Blaming “foreign support” is the indefatigable accusation made by unwanted, corrupt, and despicable regimes of repression the world over. It’s always “foreigners” fomenting uprising and revolution, it couldn’t possibly be that people are sick and tired of living under the ruthlessly dangerous rule of megalomaniacs.
Instead of persecuting artists of Ai’s stature and global awareness (instead of persecuting artists of any stature!), we as civilized nations should celebrate artists.
Allen Ginsberg knew Ai Weiwei in the 1980s when Ai lived in New York City.
The New Yorker has published a profile of Ai in the past and blog entries by Evan Osnos continue to inform on Ai’s situation and fate.