The famous Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei has joined forces with Reporters Without Borders. From now on “ambassador” for the Paris-based international organisation defending and promoting freedom of the press, the renowned contemporary artist is adding his voice to their work, advancing the essential freedom featured in article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“I am happy to support Reporters Without Borders,” Ai Weiwei has said. “Human rights activists in China know about this important organisation. For an artist, a designer, it’s of the utmost importance to be able to express the truth and the reality of the world.” The Secretary general of RWB, Christophe Deloire, says “Ai Weiwei embodies the spirit of resistance shown by many of those faced with abusive regimes; it’s a huge encouragement for us that such a fascinating personality has agreed to become an ambassador for Reporters Without Borders.”
Although he was the creator of the Bird’s Nest Olympic stadium in Beijing, Ai Weiwei then called for a boycott of the 2008 Games, when, at the same time, Reporters Without Borders launched a campaign showing the Olympic rings as handcuffs.
In 2011, Ai Weiwei was arrested and held in a “black jail”, outside the reach of the official judiciary system, for 81 days. In 2009, he launched an inquiry to publish the names of the thousands of schoolchildren killed in the Sichuan earthquake.
Reporters Without Borders’ new “ambassador” will be featuring in the next album “100 Photos for Press Freedom” (published 12th September 2013). Published three times a year, this publication in French and in English was dedicated to the greatest photographers among whom William Klein, Robert Doisneau and Don McCullin. For this issue, Ai Weiwei offers his most iconic photos, as well as seventy unpublished and explosive pictures showing the shadowing done by the secret police. This special edition on China will contain an article by Lech Walesa, Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, dedicated to Liu Xiaobo, Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 and jailed since 2008.
This collector’s item will be partly produced thanks to a crowd-funding campaign, symbol of solidarity and communal production. This campaign will be launched in the next few days on KissKissBankBank. For the first time, this album will be also available in an English digital version on the Apple Store, to make it available all over the world.