Ai Weiwei: The Evolution of a Dissident
By ALISON KLAYMAN
Ai Weiwei told me recently that he thinks the government’s decision to detain him for 81 days last year and keep him under strict bail conditions ever since is completely related to his effective use of the Internet to communicate his views and exchange ideas with others.
He told me: “If not for my use of the Internet, I would just be an artist trying to put up a canvas in a gallery or a museum, which has almost no influence for the majority of society. It’s only because I acted on the Internet that the pressure comes. It made a lot of people feel scared, because they can never really stop my influence on the netizens.”
That’s why I made my first feature documentary, “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry” — to record what happens when someone makes the choice to speak openly and provocatively and face down the consequences, as Ai Weiwei and so many other human rights lawyers, writers, activists and young netizens do every day in China. I hope to inspire new discussions about the role of art, social media, underground documentary and creative forms of resistance in our interconnected world.
Alison Klayman directed and produced the feature documentary, “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry,” which premieres at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Ms. Klayman lived in China from 2006 to 2010, working as a freelance journalist. She speaks Mandarin and Hebrew and is a graduate of
This video was produced by independent filmmakers supported in part by the nonprofit Sundance Institute.
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs