Dissident artist Ai Weiwei has accepted an honorary professorship from Berlin’s University of the Arts for the course of three years. Since his release, his passport was taken away and he can’t leave Beijing, so it’s possible he’ll give his lectures via Skype.
While he remains quiet about his detention period, Ai Weiwei’s sister Gao Ge spilled the details to the press: He was kept in a tiny room that was lit 24 hours a day, where two policemen stared directly at him all day and all night, even standing close to him in the shower. He walked 600 miles and lost 30 pounds. Gao says Ai only signed the “financial crimes” confession because he was afraid his wife would become a target of persecution.
Meanwhile, in his rare and guarded statement, Ai himself remains determined:
My art will never change. It is deep in my bones. But it has made many things clearer. I have been working in the direction of freedom of expression.