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Social Issues
Dissident Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei Drops Heavy Metal Video Mocking State Power
May 23, 2013
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In 2011, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was detained for 81 days as part of an overall crackdown against him for his dissent and activism against China's government.

Now, he's released a song called 'Dumbass' and a music video that refer to his time in detention.

The artist says making the song and video helped him heal after the "trauma" of being incarcerated.

"I had been thinking about how to recover from the trauma. And I came up with the idea of using music to convey a sentiment that is tremendously secret, and private, to the public," Ai said.

According to CBC News, "Ai has irked Beijing by using his art and online profile to draw attention to injustices in China and the need for greater transparency and rule of law."

As well as incarceration, the government has targeted Ai with a $2.4 million tax bill, which he unsuccessfully fought in the courts. Many observers believe the bill is a punishment for his activism.

The lyrics of 'Dumbass' are full of obscene insults, and the images include animals that have become euphemisms for circumventing censorship in China.

"This video was not shot for me, and this song, I am not singing for myself," Ai said.

"This is dedicated to all those people who do not have the opportunity to raise their voice, who will never be able to raise their voices. This is not just one generation."

"In the past 60 years there have been innumerable amounts of people who have been killed or sent away from their homes, even tortured to death."

Although it is available on YouTube and has been shared on Twitter, the video may not be available in China. Although Ai tried to upload it to Chinese sites like Tudou.com, censors rejected the video.

'Dumbass' is the first song on Ai's forthcoming album, 'The Divine Comedy'. The video was shot over three days in Beijing by acclaimed Australian cinematographer Christopher Doyle.

Via CBC News

Related:

Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei Free But Forced To Remain Silent

Dissident Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei Goes Gangnam Style... With Handcuffs

Ai Weiwei's Supporters and an Egyptian Blogger Get Naked for Change

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