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weiwei Global conflict 

Political art can easily turn into propaganda

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The acclaimed Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has been repeatedly persecuted in China over his human rights activism. Having previously suffered a brain haemorrhage as a result of a police beating, he was arrested in 2011 and imprisoned for 81 days in solitary confinement in a tiny unventilated cell.

His art tells us about the importance of free speech, the oppressive reality of a true surveillance society and life as a struggle for freedom against tyranny. The best of his creations are as imaginative and creative as they are moving.

To read the rest of my Times column (£) please click here.

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