New London play shines light on Ai Weiwei's arrest
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 02:13
The Chinese artist talks about ''The Arrest of Ai Weiwei'', a new play based on his detention in 2011. Eileen Hsieh reports.
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The story of the arrest of China's most famous artist has come to a stage in London.
#aiww is a new play about political dissident Ai Weiwei's secretive detention in 2011, which sparked an international outcry, says playwright Howard Brenton.
SOUNDBITE: Playwright, Howard Brenton, saying (English):
"It's a story, it's the powerful account of a man trying to keep a straight line in a very bent world. It's also about free expression. He claims the right to speak freely and it's denied to him."
The theatrical project is Ai's attempt to shine light on his disappearance that lasted 81 days.
SOUNDBITE: Artist, Ai Weiwei, saying (Mandarin):
"Many people want to know what happened and where I was jailed in those 81 days, and what had happened during this period. So I think the presentation of those arrest details is very important. Because in a society such as China's, most of the things it does can keep going solely due to their lack of presentation. This is a society that lacks transparency, lacks platform and space for public opinion."
The play will be live-streamed over the internet worldwide for free on Friday (April 19) in keeping with the "spirit" of the artist who often uses social media to promote his causes.
"Now we live in an internet world, the communication today is wide and unprecedented. It's very exciting to be able to allow people to freely enjoy art."
#aiww run until May 18th at London's Hampstead Theatre.
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