Ai Weiwei, the designer and architect who constructed perhaps the most iconic building for the upcoming Beijing Olympics, the “Bird’s Nest Stadium” is standing up once more to complain about China and the country’s use of the Olympics as flashy propaganda instead of using the event and the buildings created for it as a symbol of a gathering together of nations and harmony, etc. You might recall us reporting on his first round of complaints around this time last year. Here’s a slight clarification from this time around:
He dismisses claims that he has turned against the structure he helped to design. “I don’t criticise the stadium. I criticise the government’s use of the Olympics for propaganda. I am disappointed that the system is not able to turn this historical event into political reform.”
The really insane thing here is that Weiwei is still in China and still runs a site on which he does most of his complaining, yet he’s neither in jail nor has his blog been shut down. If we were him, we’d maybe be thinking to start planning to hop on a plane near the final days of the Olympics in a couple of weeks, because once the attention shifts away from Beijing, we would imagine there might be a couple of knocks on the door from some political entities wanting to have a few words with him.