Archive for 2011年6月

Ai Weiwei News

6月 26, 2011
Liebe Freunde,
Ai Weiwei_Martin Winter
(Basler Zeitung Di., 27. Juli 2011)
Ai Weiweis Gedicht "Wir sprechen uns später" ist in der aktuellen Ausgabe der Zeit (7.-14. Juli). Kam am Donnerstag
heraus, nach China kommt die aktuelle Ausgabe immer erst am Montag, wenn sie kommt. Dann kostet sie 120 Volkstaler,
dreimal so viel wie in Deutschland. Die Übersetzung ist von Angelika Burgsteiner und mir. In den Tagen nach Ai Weiweis
Freilassung war dazu ein Artikel von Bei Ling, den ich übersetzt habe, in der FAZ, in der Presse und auf
Das Gedicht erschien 1987 in der von Yan Li herausgegebenen chinesischsprachigen Zeitschrift Yi Hang (oder Yi Xing, d.h.
Eine Zeile/ Eine Gruppe) in New York. Ai Weiwei erinnert sich an das Gedicht, weil es das einzige ist, das er je geschrieben
hat, sagt er.
Wir haben Ai Weiwei am Freitag in der Früh besucht. Er wirkte noch ziemlich mitgenommen. Ich bekam den Eindruck, er wurde
eher zu von der Staatssicherheit vermuteten politischen Hintergründen von alten Fotos aus New York befragt als zu steuerlichen
Vorwürfen gegen ihn. Aber wir haben nicht viel gefragt. Für die Aktionen zu seiner Unterstützung war er sehr dankbar, obwohl
er bei manchen Sachen auch etwas skeptisch ist. Die aktuelle Ausstellung in Winterthur kommt bald nach Graz, und die Sache in
Bregenz fängt auch in diesem Monat an. Aber er kann ja leider nirgends selbst hinfahren. Manche Projekte, die er vorher begonnen
hat, scheinen ihm jetzt fast fremd geworden zu sein. Er möchte gerne gastfreundlich sein und frei reden wir früher. Aber wie er
selbst sagt, jetzt geht es ihm eben wie vielen anderen, und eher wie vielen gewöhnlichen Leuten, die auch nicht zuviel
den Mund aufmachen dürfen. Als Wegzehrung für den Rückweg haben wir ein paar Sonnenblumenkerne mitbekommen.
Herzliche Grüße, mw

Silence of the dissidents
The Ancient Roots of Chinese Liberalism 
Yan Li's Chinese magazine in New York, 1987

The source for Ai Weiwei’s poem

严力:说说艾未未(之二) (2011.5)

严  力:说说艾未未(之三)


Hu Jia released after years in Chinese prison 

@faz_net Weit hinter der chinesischen Firewall 貝嶺 Bei Ling (June 25). Ai Weiwei mit Maulkorb: Wie lange wird er das aushalten? Der Aktionskünstler ist wieder auf freiem Fuß, aber unter scharfen Auflagen: Gibt es echte Freiheit für ihn nur um den Preis des Exils?


英譯刊於6月25日台北時報(Taipei Times): What will be the price of Ai Weiwei’s freedom? By Bei Ling 貝嶺

Berliners for Ai Weiwei (He lost a lot of weight in prison, so he might as well have some!)

See also Berlin’s Tagesspiegel from June 23rd  柏林《每日鏡報》6月24日文化版


6月 15, 2011


many stars are out tonight
many clouds around the moon
i can’t see her from this house
she must be around the corner
must be round the neighborhood
it is pentecost today
and we heard a lovely sermon
dorothea’s going soon
there is too much distance here
people cannot feel the spirit
god vibrating on the water
jewish men from different countries
like it says there in the bible
can we understand each other
although we don’t speak the language
many men from different places
many people in vienna
are we very far from jesus
everything looks very nice
and the weather has been lovely
are we safe here in vienna
can we feel the holy spirit
dorothea preached a sermon
and we felt at home a little
some of them don’t come to church
but they are for renovation
dorothea is a priestess
and christine is a priestess
and they have a lot of spirit
so they even made us welcome
i don’t understand the people
those who dominate the churches
i don’t care for them at all
we come for the weekly service
for the singing, for the organ
for a certain tolerance
it was better for the children
when it looked a little shabby
it’s a little bit like china
there’s not much democracy
and not very much religion
god is in the organ music
the vibration on the water
it is pentecost this weekend
lovely little holiday
so we’re going to the water
at the danube, for the children
we meet friends and we meet strangers
kari astrid jennifer
dorothea babtized maia
pentecost one year ago
leo’s doing better now
we had many languages
for vienna’s night of churches
it was dorothea’s project
we will have the taiwan choir
it’s an ordinary church
we are strangers in vienna
although we belong here now

MW June 2011

Lunar eclipse of June 15, 2011

Thanks to Malika Saulnier!

Lunar eclipse of June 15, 2011

Thanks to Malika Saulnier!

A spirits outlet in Vienna's 16th district. Thanks to Thomas Palfinger!

A spirits outlet in Vienna's 16th district. Thanks to Thomas Palfinger!

A spirits outlet in Vienna's 16th district. Thanks to Thomas Palfinger!

A spirits outlet in Vienna's 16th district. Thanks to Thomas Palfinger!


6月 13, 2011

According to Xinhua and Global Times, the newly published second volume of “History of the Chinese Communist Party” (1949-1978) is “seen as objective”.  So what’s the objective of this book? What are the objectives of this new “objective” party history? Was it written by party members? Does anyone among them, or among the people who planned, published, and distributed this book, think the PRC should evolve into something different from a one-party dictatorship/autocracy? (I find it hard to believe that many non-party members would use their own money to buy such a book. Or is it really that different? Why was it published, then?) Which major bookstores have had their sales rankings dominated by this book? Ok, the main objective seems to be seen as objective. “Experts say that objectivity, a founding principle of the CPC, was virtually banished during the late 1950s and 1960s, when “extreme leftist” thought dominated the governing ideology of the Party.” Founding principle? There must be some historians who can answer this question. Anyway, they still write their party with a capital P.

In Taiwan, there seems to have been pressure for change in the late 1970s and early 1980s. China was changing. Taiwan was and is still called Republic of China, but in the 1970s they lost their UN-Security Council seat to the
PRC. Because of that ping-pong tournament between Nixon, Zhou Enlai, Mao and Kissinger, or something like that. Yes, sports events have always been very important. So there was pressure on Taiwan to open up politically, to democratize. They couldn’t just go on calling themselves The Free China team. No-one was ever going to help them liberate the Mainland anyway. So the Chiang Ching-kuo administration eventually lifted martial law in 1987, and allowed real opposition. A real opposition party. In 1988 or 1989, you still had to be a Party member (GMD/KMT) to get into certain positions in Taiwan. In 1988 or 1989, even very liberal Party members still said that in 1947, maybe 200 people might have been killed after the February 28th incident, but it was an armed uprising anyway. In 1991, President Li Denghui publicly admitted that probably more than 20.000 people had been killed in 1947 by government forces, and apologized to surviving relatives.

Going back to China: If there is any real discussion about The Great Leap Forward famine, in conjunction with all the other campaigns, including the anti-rightist “movement” and the ones before and after, including the CR,
wouldn’t that mean one-party autocracy would have to be abandoned at some time? In 2011, we’re having 90 years of CCP, in addition to 45 years after 1966, the beginning of the CR. In 2009, we’ve had The Founding of a Republic (1949), and in addition 1959 (famine), 1969 (CR), 1979 and 1989 (In 1979, economic reform was ushered in under Deng Xiaoping, who prevailed over Hua Guofeng in the late 1970s, although Hua had been appointed by Mao. Does that mean Hua and Mao were part of the “‘extreme leftist’ thought [that] dominated the governing ideology of the Party” […] “during the late 1950s and 1960s”?).

The student demonstrators in 1989 explicitly stated in slogans on banners etc. that they supported the CCP. Even after they were called counter-revolutionaries in the The People’s Daily. (See the article by Su Yang 蘇陽 in the HK Xin Bao). But because protest leaders emphasized loyalty to the state, three peasants who hurled red paint at the Mao portrait at Tian’anmen were apprehended by the students and handed over to Public Security. They were from Hunan, where Mao came from. They got 17-20 years. After the massacre of June 3rd and June 4th in the streets of Beijing, who would still think that political reform would be possible under the Party?

“Objectivity” sounds rather like the 1980s. Objectivity and political reform, or at least pressure for political reform are interdependent. Any kind of national and international pressure, especially the latter. “Chinese
Communist Party seen as objective in writing its history” – doesn’t that sound like “Vatican seen as objective in writing its history”? Yan Lianke cannot publish his latest novel Four Books in mainland China, because it’s about the Great Leap Forward famine. Opposition party founder Liu Xianbin has been sentenced to another 10 years in March. He has been sentenced to 26 years since 1989. There are a few other people like him. They are not as famous as Liu Xiaobo and Ai Weiwei. And there are people in detention or in labor camps for political reasons who are not intellectuals or dissidents. Like Ai Weiwei’s cook and his driver. Anyway, would anyone call the present political and social climate in China hopeful? So what are the objectives?


6月 2, 2011

so (children’s day)

it is children’s day today
so i’m very very tired
as i’ve been for many years
so i don’t appear so often
so i’m very very late
so i’m here like anyone
so we’re doing what we can
so i’ll have another birthday
so we’ve china to remember
so we’ve 1989
so we’re doing what we can

MW June 1st, 2011

Maia & Leo

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