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Editor-in-Chief: Luis Gottardi,
Senior Correspondent: Malcom Johnson,
Contributors: Maida Millan,
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Strong Soul:The Last Interviews with Ai Wei Wei
Two days before his arrest Ai Wei Wei gave an interview with German ARD. Here's a few excerpts..... "people with different minds and voices are being thrown into prison"..... . "There are two surveillance cameras at my gate entrance, my phone is tapped and every message I send on my microblog is censored."..... "Yesterday and the day before over a dozen police came to my place, but in my opinion, it is purely nuisance. They are coming again today,"..... "China in many ways is just like the middle ages. China's control over people's minds and the flow of information is just like the time before the Enlightenment. Writers, artists, and commentators on websites are detained or thrown into jail when they reflect on democracy, opening up, reform and reason. This is the reality of China."..... "every piece of news in China is controlled by the ministry of propaganda"....
"Unless I have absolutely no other choice, like my life being threatened, I will not leave here because I belong here and there is no reason for me to leave.".......
"The only thing I can do in China is go on the internet; however my name is a sensitive word on the internet in China, and my name cannot be shown on Chinese websites. So working conditions are very bad."..... In another interview with Time Out London on 12 April...... "I am afraid of jail, but my father was a poet [Ai Qing, 1910-1996]. I don't admire him much as a poet, but I do admire him when in his early 20s he was sentenced to six years, and then later exiled for 20 years in really the worst situation, cleaning the public toilets, and yet he survived. So if I think about my father, I think: this was really a strong soul, a poet, who accepted a kind of jail, a human condition. It's a statement, you know? This is how I try to make myself understand what would happen in jail. But nobody really knows what happens.".......
"They [young people] say: 'This guy is established and has possibilities, but he is standing for me in criticising the current situation and wants it changed.' So my situation gives people hope through the impenetrable darkness. People have been sick of this situation, some for several generations, and have developed a total hopelessness." ...... "It's so pitiful, you don't even want to say it: their lacking confidence, their lacking skill in communication, their refusal to discuss any matter intellectually. [The Communist party] must have an enemy. They have to create you as their enemy in order for them to continue their existence. It's very ironic."