Purple Diary

[June 22 2011]

Ai Weiwei Released

According to reports, the artist and activist Ai Weiwei was released earlier today after admitting guilt over tax evasion and agreeing to pay the alleged amount. Since his disappearance in early April many from the art community, including Anish Kapoor and Daniel Buren, boycotted their planned exhibitions in China in a show of disappointment over the artist’s treatment. Supporters believe Ai Weiwei’s outspoken criticism of his government, particularly on issues of human rights and free speech, made him a target for unjust surveillance and detainment. Prior to his arrest, the artist used the social media outlet twitter to keep an informal tally of Chinese intellectuals, activists, and lawyers who disappeared or were questioned by authorities. To many, the artist’s three month ordeal reflects the depraved civil liberties situation in China and prompts debate on internet censorship. Text Juliana Balestin

Subscribe to our newsletter