Ai Weiwei is a chinese artist and activist who is also active in architecture, curating, photography, film, and social and cultural criticism. Most known for his work as the artistic consultant on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics. in addition to his art work he has investigated government corruption and cover-ups, especially the alleged corruption scandal during the construction of the Sichuan schools that collapsed in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. He intensively uses the internet to communicate with people all over China, especially the young generation. On 3 April 2011 police detained him at Beijing airport. His studio in the capital was sealed off, and his staff interrogated pursuant to official allegations of “economic crimes”. On 20 April Ai was appointed Visiting Professor of the Berlina University of the Arts.
On 3 April, Ai was arrested just before catching a flight to Hong Kong and his studio facilities were searched.A police contingent of approximately 50 officers came to his studio, threw a cordon around it and searched the premises. They took away laptops and the hard drive from the main computer; along with Ai, police also detained eight staff members and Ai’s wife, Lu Qing. Police also visited the mother of Ai’s two year-old son. While state media originally reported on 6 April that Ai was arrested at the airport because “his departure procedures were incomplete, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on 7 April that Ai was arrested under investigation for alleged economic crimes.Then, on 8 April, police returned to Ai’s workshop to examine his financial affairs. On 9 April, Ai’s accountant, as well as studio partner Liu Zhenggang and driver Zhang Jingsong, disappeared, while Ai’s assistant Wen Tao has remained missing since Ai’s arrest on 3 April. Ai’s wife said that she was summoned by the Beijing Chaoyang district tax bureau, where she was interrogated about his studio’s tax on 12 April.A Beijing-controlled newspaper in Hong Kong announced that Ai was under arrest for tax evasion, bigamy, and spreading indecent images on the internet. Supporters said “the article should be seen as a mainland media commentary attacking Ai, rather than as an accurate account of the investigation.
Ai Weiwei detained. Here is his TED film
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