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Renowned satirical artist and Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei, who disappeared in early April and has been detained under shaky allusions to “economic crimes” by the Chinese government for over two months, has finally been released. After admitting to tax evasian, promising to pay fines, and showing a good attitude in detainment, the outspoken trailblazer is FREE AT LAST.
Free to move freely around Beijing, that is, as long as he notifies authorities every time he leaves the house.
Free, despite the fact that he can’t give interviews, make a peep on social media outlets (with 90k followers, Twitter was a major tool for Ai, who tweeted about disappearing activists, human rights violations, etc. prior to his detainment), or step outside of the city without permission. Though he cheerfully emerged to say hello to reporters and the International community this week, Ai has made it clear that he cannot speak publicly about his investigation or life situation, for “at least a year,” intimating a gag order that authorities won’t confirm.
An activist without a voice? That’s a prison unto itself. Let’s not pretend Ai Weiwei is free when he isn’t.
Name: Liu Bolin
Hails from: Beijing, China
Occupation: Visual Artist
Known for: Appearing to disappear. China Daily just did a feature on Liu, a Chinese performance artist who camouflages himself into everyday surroundings for photographs using an awe-inspiring combination of paint and patience. Liu has created over 80 “invisible” works since 2006 and has been featured in museums across Europe and the US–one of the few modern Chinese artists to be recognized by the worldwide art market.
OBAMA: It is good to finally meet you here, your Holiness. Thank you for coming.
DALAI LAMA: It is good to see you, President Obama.
OBAMA: Your good friend Sharon Stone called the White House today nine times in anticipation of your arrival.
DALAI LAMA: She is–what do you call–a hoot. Very good intention, but very hot mind.
DALAI LAMA: (leaning in) And of course, as nuts as a bowl of almonds.
[gently, they chuckle]
OBAMA: Your job seems… challenging.
DALAI LAMA: Your job also seems challenging. However, this is a good test for you.
OBAMA: It is. I believe that that ultimately, the American people are good. We all want to benefit humanity, just go about it in different ways.
Filed under: Book Smart, China, Chinese Government, Dalai, Epic Meetings, His Holiness, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Intelligence, Opposition, Photo Ops, President Barack Obama, President Obama, Right Wing Nutjobs, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Sharon Stone, Smarts, The White House