Ai Weiwei – Never Sorry

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Hitting screens: film portrait of an artist and critic

Right in time Ai Weiwei´s house arrest is being lifted: The documentation Ai Weiwei: Never sorry hits screens these days. For three years the producer Alison Klayman shadowed his life, resuming in an film portrait of one of the most compelling public figures in China. Now everybody gets the chance to gaze at the life of the known conceptual artist.

The film isn’t a media unknown to the artist: Ai Weiwei uses social media and finds a great platform for political activism in the Internet. Artist and regime critic, Ai Weiwei unites these positions. Trough art he communicates and expresses himself, creatively and radically he deals with his China. In his political-artistic driven activism the dissident tries to make grievance obvious and fight injustice. He aims at a world, free of human rights abuse.

Ai Weiwei works with pictures and let’s them talk. The outcome is volitional, but due to his behavor the artist and his family are affected by reprisals on a regular basis. Last year he was detained for a few months and has spendt his days since in house arrest in Peking.

Last year a panel discussion on Ai Weiwei’s role in art and activism was held at Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany (co-organized by Cultura21 and the FIDH).

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

Interview with activist/video maker Leo Murray

I’ve just posted an interview that Caleb Klaces did with Leo Murray for on the main RSA Arts & Ecology website. Murray did the clever little viral video Wake Up Freak Out – Then Get a Grip which has been doing the rounds on the net.

Art has the ability to move people in a way that nothing else does. In the world we live in today, screen media is the most prominent cultural feature. People spend the majority of their waking hours staring at screens (computers and TVs), which gives you a clue if you’re trying to propagate social change. If you don’t try and come at people through their screens you’re just standing behind them tapping them on the shoulder saying “Hey, over here…”. It’s really clear that there’s no way to bring about the social change that we need to deal with climate change without the use of screen media. Aside from mass media, I’m pretty certain that The Age of Stupid [which Murray animated the first three minutes of] is the most powerful tool to motivate people around climate change that exists now. It does the opposite of what I do in my film, it barely addresses the science at all. It’s set in the future and uses narrative to suck you in. Taking a historical view seems a very productive perspective…

Read the whole interview.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology