“Expressing oneself is a part of being human. To be deprived of a voice is to be told you are not a participant in society; ultimately it is a denial of humanity.” Ai Weiwei
In a first for ILFDublin, we’re delighted to welcome Chinese contemporary artist and activist Ai Weiwei to One For The Books. Openly critical of the Chinese Government's stance on democracy and human rights, his international work in the name of protest and art resonates far beyond the confines of the art world. From the hundred million hand-painted porcelain sunflower seeds he used to carpet the Turbine Hall in Tate Modern to the beautiful Forever Bicycles sculpture, and now his new documentary Omni, Ai Weiwei is renowned for making strong aesthetic statements that encourage broader dialogue on contemporary social, cultural, and political issues. Omni uses virtual reality to immerse viewers in a jungle full of lost elephants and a refugee camp in Bangladesh.
He grew up in the far north-west of China. In 2011, Ai was jailed and told he faced 13 years in prison for subversion of state power, but was released after 81 days and given a large fine. He was placed under house arrest for four years, after which he left for Germany, where he had been offered a professorship at Berlin University of the Arts. He recently moved to the UK. He received the 2015 Ambassador of Conscience Award from Amnesty International, and the 2012 Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent from the Human Rights Foundation.
In conversation with Annie Fletcher, Director of Irish Museum of Modern Art.
The Gutter Bookshop is sad they can’t be at the festival in person this year but you can browse (and purchase!) books by the featured authors at the special ILFDublin festival shop - CLICK HERE. And remember that there’s no postage to pay in Ireland if you spend over €30 or if you choose to collect your books from either of our bookshops. Just choose the ‘Free Shipping’ or ‘Click & Collect’ options at checkout!