In order to raise awareness for the freedom of speech on World Press Freedom Day on Tuesday, the Federation of German Newspaper Publishers and Ai Weiwei teamed up for a nationwide art action.
The Chinese artist and political activist created a front page for more than 280 German newspapers that features “Golden Age,” one of his earlier works responding to government surveillance and censorship.
Ai participated in Amnesty International’s activism against censorship earlier this year and is an ambassador of the NGO Reporters Without Borders. In 2011, he was placed under house arrest for publicly speaking out against human rights violations of the Chinese government. Upon his release in 2015, Ai relocated to Berlin for a three-year-guest professorship at the University of the Arts. He has since strongly engaged in social media to advocate for political dissidents around the world and document his engagement at Greek and Macedonian refugee camps. His critical works, often responses to political and social injustices, have most recently been exhibited at London’s Royal Academy of Arts and Paris’ Le Bon Marché, among other locations.