A few days ago, the NY Times reported that detained dissident artist Ai Weiwei was allowed a brief visit from his wife. For concerned citizens around the world who feared the worst over the past 40+ days in which Ai’s whereabouts and welfare were unknown, the fact that the artist is alive and appeared as though he hadn’t been tortured are reliefs.
Still, Ai and dozens of others have been illegally detained in a wave of repression due to the Chinese government’s fear of a Jasmine Revolution, an Arab Spring-style uprising in China. Chinese authorities are not even following their own legal procedures—Ai has not been formally charged—nor he has not been permitted counsel.
The moral and legal imperatives to pressure the authorities to free Ai Weiwei and all political prisoners remain.
As Aimee LeDuc points out on Bay Citizen, San Francisco’s forthcoming art fairs offer an opportunity for concerned art community members to voice their opposition to repression. Inspired by her call to action and Visible Alternative’s initiatives, I’m making available a graphic for printing, iron-on t-shirts, and any other creative uses. Love the Future is a code phrase for “Ai Weiwei,” a censored phrase on the web in China, as well as an affirmation of progress and political change.
For more info please see FreeAiWeiwei.org.