Ai Weiwei in China verhaftet

Der bekannteste chinesische Künstler Ai Weiwei wurde gestern am Flughafen in Peking festgenommen, sein Atelier durchsucht, seine Mitarbeiter und seine Frau verhört, die Gründe sind noch nicht bekannt, es scheint aber um seine ausländischen Mitarbeiter zu gehen. Die Meldung kommt ein paar Tage nach seiner Ankündigung, wegen des Drucks der chinesischen Behörden ein zweites Atelier in Berlin eröffnen zu wollen.

Die besten News kommen vom Kunstblog Hyperallergic, aktueller Stand: Seine Frau wurde frei gelassen, sein Atelier ist aktuell von der Polizei umzingelt, Beamte durchsuchen es nach wie vor, genauso wie das Kinderzimmer seiner zweijährigen Sohnes. Hier die Tagesschaumeldung dazu.

Hier die erst vor ein paar Tagen auf PBS ausgestrahlte Minidoku „Who's afraid of Ai Weiwei“, mehr Ai Weiwei-Kurzdokus gibt's auf der Website von Filmemacherin Alison Klayman:

(PBS Direktaiweiwei, via Einhorn)

I began filming Ai Weiwei in December 2008 and quickly got to know him through the stories he recounted about living in New York as a youth -- something I could relate to as a young American who's also now living in a foreign country. We talked about the evolution of his political consciousness, from his childhood in domestic exile with his father (renowned poet Ai Qing) to his decision to return to China in 1993 and remain a Beijing resident and Chinese citizen.

That week we first met, writer and activist Liu Xiaobo had been arrested for circulating the Charter 08 online. (He was sentenced to 11 years in prison, on the charge of "suspicion of inciting subversion of state power." In 2010, still in jail, Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.) And that was the first time I asked Weiwei a question that I would repeatedly ask him over the months that followed: "How is it you can openly speak your mind without serious consequences?"

Documenting the Story of Ai Weiwei ...behind the scenes with filmmaker Alison Klayman

[update] Die Washington Post zum Thema: Chinese artist Ai Weiwei arrested in latest government crackdown

Ai is the most high-profile activist to have been detained in a government crackdown in which dozens of bloggers, human rights lawyers and writers have been swept up.

The arrests seem related to the government’s concern that activists in China want to launch a “jasmine revolution” similar to the popular uprisings roiling autocratic governments in the Middle East and North Africa.

[update] Von TED: Ai Weiwei detained. Here is his TED film

The news that Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has been detained by authorities has prompted significant concern here at TED HQ. We had shown a film of him at last month’s conference, an unexpected and courageous statement about his treatment by the government, social change, the power of the web, and his hope for the future of China. The film, which was shown as Ai Weiwei himself watched live over the web in the middle of the night, prompted a huge standing ovation from the TED audience.