I am a bit late with these news but I learned yesterday that Ai Wei Wei has been placed under house arrest by the Chinese Authorities at the beginning of this month. In fact, one could recently read about his studio in Shanghai, first authorized then built, and eventually retroactively judged illegal and subject to destruction; following what, the Chinese artist decided to organize himself a destructive celebration of his studio. This seems to have been as an excuse for the Chinese Authorities to arrest him -they were probably planning that a long time ago, since Ai Wei Wei never failed to criticize the Chinese governmental system- as “they cannot let anything happen if they don’t understand it” says the artist in a interview for the BBC visible here.
I definitely do not register myself in a world vision dividing the “free democratic world” and the “evil totalitarianism axis”; however, one has to observe that the freedom of press and opinion in China is still severely limited since those liberties constitutes an obstacle to the bureaucratic capitalist system currently in operation. The difficulty of dealing with those issues seems to be related to the fact that governmentability is more operative via a system than via peoples themselves, as illustrated by Wen Jiabao’s (the Chinese Prime Minister) own interview for CNN being censored in China. In fact, in this interview Jiabao was stating that “freedom of speech is indispensable, for any country, a country in the course of development and a country that has become strong“.
Read the whole interview.