Gianluca Costantini
Political Comics

Ai Weiwei: How Do We Save Our Humanity?

In his recent graphic memoir “ZODIAC: A Graphic Memoir”, the renowned artist Ai Weiwei writes that artists should “ignite stories”, “fight for freedom” and “help us hope.” Over his long and defiant career, he has used his art in a wide variety of media to do just that. His past works such as “Sunflower Seeds” and “Remembering” confronted issues of censorship and human rights abuses in China; in a recent show in London, he asked questions of an AI Chatbot for his project “Ai vs AI”, including “Is there hope for peace?” Earlier this year, he faced criticism for his expressions of support for Palestinian rights and had a show in London canceled. In this wide-ranging conversation with Laura Flanders, they discuss the role of the artist and ask why is “Power so afraid of art and poets?” As attacks on free speech, surveillance and displacement continue to impact so many of us, how do we keep our humanity? And how can art and artists help? All that, plus a commentary from Laura on asking Seder questions in the street.

“I’m not this kind of very active activist. I’m just being forced to act . . . But I’m proud of doing that because that is the meaning of life, to give dignity to life itself . . .” – Ai Weiwei

“The real fear for me is [if] we lost [the] ability to ask the question. We lost our memory, we lost our sense of caring compassion . . .” – Ai Weiwei

Guest: Ai Weiwei: Conceptual Artist, Filmmaker & Human Rights Activist; Author, ZODIAC, A Graphic Memoir

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Credits: Executive Producer: Laura Flanders Supervising Producer: Sabrina Artel Senior Consulting Producer: Rory O’Connor Consulting Producer: Jordan Flaherty Senior Video Editor: David Neumann Creative Designer & Video Editor: Nat Needham Audio Director: Jeannie Hopper Development Director: Sarah Miller Communications Director: Janet Hernandez Executive Assistant: Nady Piña

Ai Weiwei / United States / Zodiac

Political Comics


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