Ai Wei Wei uses his life to express what he wants to tell his own country. You would think that with globalization, advanced technology, and lifestyle, the modern day China is a different country than it was decades ago. People would be surprised how similar the government operates now and then. Growing up in Taiwan, I’ve been able to be exposed to what’s happening in China without the censorship. It is shocking how little respect the government have to it’s people. Ai Wei Wei is praised like like a god for his bravery to stand against the government and really speak for the people. Without him, maybe of the younger generation grow up not knowing some of the bloody history of how scholars, artist, writers, poets, and more more fought to death for their rights. Without him, maybe people will overlook what really happened behind closed doors in the government official’s office.
I think documentaries are one of the best art form to celebrate free speech and human rights because it’s truthful and it’s easy to digest. Visuals can be too abstract and words can be dry, but videos give you both: a narrative with visuals and words to guide you. I think as more and more people start to pick up Ai Wei Wei’s messages and be able to stand for themselves, there is a chance that human rights issues can be improved in China. But one Ai Wei Wei will not be enough, there will need to be more people like Ai Wei Wei that can have that fearless attitude to the world for a better future. Along with that, I think the rise of social media is also helping Ai Wei Wei carry his messages to the public and spreading it among the people that can start to make a difference.