Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei is still in a chinese jail. Authorities detained him in April. In May they charged him with tax evasion.
Supporters of the artist believe it was Weiwei increasing outspokeness that ultimately landed him in prison. Weiwei's activism was increasingly apparent on the Internet. He began blogging in 2006, and by 2009, the blog had taken on a decidely angry and incessant tone... though bits of humour continued to punctuate his written thoughts. By then, he was all over Twitter, too.
The blog was shut down in 2009.
Last Thursday, the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva screened one of the last interviews Weiwei gave - to a filmmaker, in December - before his April detention.
Last Thursday, the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva screened one of the last interviews Weiwei gave - to a filmmaker, in December. "Because of Twitter," he says, "because of the Internet, because of other possibilities, one day the world will suddenly change."
Lee Ambrozy edited and translated the book, "Ai Weiwei's Blog: Writings, Interviews, and Digital Rants, 2006-2009". We wanted to know what his blogs had to reveal about the artist now in prison. Our interview with Lee airs Saturday, but here's a preview.
The 2008 Sichuan earthquake killed tens of thousands of people in China, including 6,000 school children. The death of those children had a profound effect on Weiwei's activism, and his blog entries reflected as much: