Analysing the Limits of Soft Power in the Case of Ai Weiwei: Der Tagesspiegel

"Seek New Culture!" -- from Berlin Tacheles, photo by Adam Cathcart, April 2011

As promised, I am working my way through some of the prolix torrent of analysis and concern levied upon the case of Ai Weiwei by authors in Germany, and by German authors in China.

In general, the confrontation between Germany and China over cultural matters and human rights seems now primed to grow exponentially.  Museum directors are now musing openly about bringing the Enlightenment exhibition back home to Germany, and elites are wondering how in the dickens China is going to make its “German Culture Year in 2012” anything other than a farce.  There are only so many times, the article notes, that even the Confucian axiom (“The Path is the Goal”) can rescue one from a process that seems to be getting nowhere.

The full text of his last documented interview before his detention (a conversation with Heinrik Bork) is available via the Sudddeutscher Zeitung.

The following video is a reading of this early Berlin Tagesspiegel article by Peter von Becker, which you are free to throw into Google translate, which is something I haven’t tried myself.  There are, however, subtitles by me for about the first 40% of the piece, with, maybe, more to come.

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