We often post videos,profiles or quotes of artists because of the courage they exhibit in producing work that breaks from the norm, and that many would consider dangerous. Their example helps us to have a bit more courage in our own life and work, in whatever small matter terrifies us.

Among the most poweful  is Chinese artist AiWeiwei.  He is a dissident, who has forthrightly spoken out against the Chinese Government, and endured imprisonment, surveillance, and the shut down of his blog, which has become one of his most provocative works (If you click on aiweiwei.com, no page will load: it’s a very real example of what censorship means. )

Weiwei’s artwork spans many media, and blends politics and art in profoundly moving ways. His simple ethos:

If you don’t speak out and you don’t clear your mind, then who are you?


Life is never guaranteed to be safe.

This succinct excerpt from  PBS’s Frontline is a fine introduction to AiWeiwei. It is the work of Alison Klayman, who followed the artist for several years before making a feature-length Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

If you don’t have time to view it now, it’s worth bookmarking for later in the day.


If you’ve found illumination, joy, or inspiration in this post, please consider supporting Improvised Life. It only takes a minute to make a secure donation that helps pay our many costs. A little goes a long way towards helping Improvised Life continue to live ad-free in the world.

Support Improvised Life ♥

One thought on “‘who’s afraid of ai weiwei?’ (essential)

  1. very moving; touching; stirring…thank you…will watch the feature length…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *