星期六, 八月 09, 2008
08.08.08 开幕式 (2008-08-08 15:51:36)
标签：奥运 开幕式 国家体育场 杂谈 分类：杂谈
08.08.04 安全与民权 (2008-08-04 17:59:1Cool
标签：安全 民权 杂谈 分类：采访
Beijing Olympics: Police state wastes goodwill, says stadium designer
'Bird's Nest' creator launches outspoken attack on 'exercise in state power' that violates people's rights and spoils event
Jonathan Watts in Beijing
Saturday August 2 2008
China is wasting international goodwill with an Olympic security operation that makes the country look like a police state, according to the artist behind Beijing's spectacular new stadium.
Ai Weiwei, one of China's most influential intellectuals, says the government is using the "terrorist threat" as an excuse to strengthen its power.
"With the use of modern technology, the control is tighter than China ever had before," he told the Guardian. "This is an exercise of state power. People's rights are heavily violated. Is this an Olympics or some kind of warfare?"
Since the completion of the landmark "Bird's Nest" stadium, Ai has distanced himself from the state and the Olympics, refusing to attend the opening ceremony and becoming an increasingly outspoken advocate of political reform.
He feels China is spoiling the atmosphere of the games with an overzealous security operation. According to domestic media, the authorities have mobilised 100,000 police, installed 300,000 surveillance cameras, and sited anti-aircraft missiles next to the stadium. There are three rings of checkpoints on roads into the city, and ID inspections have been stepped up.
"I think it is a shame, it's a loss," said Ai. "The original idea was to invite the international community to China, share the same values, celebrate humanity and goodwill, to speak about peace and social harmony. But today, you see police everywhere; in every neighbourhood there is tight security, not just in Beijing, but everywhere in China. People really live in a police state."
Ai is unusually outspoken in a country where several critics of the Communist authorities have been imprisoned and public support for the Olympics is high.
In part, this is explained by his background. He spent his early years in remote Xinjiang, where his father, Ai Qin, one of China's greatest modern poets, was exiled and forced to clean toilets. "My father's generation fought and lost for ideology. Many of them lost their lives because they wanted a just society. But now we put up with shit like this," he says. "To me it is not a choice of whether or not to speak out, it is a matter of dignity of life."
Ai conceived the Olympic stadium's steel lattice design with Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron. Its mixture of chaos and order, he says with pride, is a model for society. The most important feature of the stadium, he says, is transparency. It is intended to invoke an atmosphere of openness and freedom.
"From whatever direction you look at it, you share the power. There is no decoration. The concept looks simple, but it provides the best watching experience for everybody because there are no pillars."
He dismisses claims that he has turned against the structure he helped to design. "I don't criticise the stadium. I criticise the government's use of the Olympics for propaganda. I am disappointed that the system is not able to turn this historical event into political reform."
Until last year, he had a low profile outside the art world, but has since started a blog that criticises the authorities and used his status to push a political message.
"I surprise myself," he says. "I have become more political. After the article in the Guardian [last year, when he first dissociated himself from the games], I have become the only person who can speak out. If I don't there will be total silence."
"I speak out because I trust Chinese people. And also because I trust people in government want to make a better society. I don't see them as enemies."
Compared with many of his peers, he is optimistic about the prospects for reform and open debate, comparing the intellectual climate to that of the late 80s before the Tiananmen Square crackdown stifled talk of political reform for two decades.
"This year people both inside and outside the party have understood the problems more clearly. It is so obvious that it cannot go on any more. There is much more talk about the need to be open."
The fact that Ai can criticise the authorities in public is a step forward from his father's generation. His blog has not been censored. In part, he thanks the Olympics for shining light on dark corners.
"It looks like China is becoming more distant from the rest of the world, but actually it is becoming closer. Before, we lacked communication and it seemed everything was all right. But the Olympics is a wonderful thing for China. It shows all the problems. The Chinese government are very willing to learn from it."
Rather than covering up its faults, Ai says the government needs to show the reality of modern China. "To show your weakness is power. You don't need to pretend. No one is perfect in this world. Telling people the old system is not working is not shameful. We all know that."
But other countries also need to learn. "It is the same for the outside world. For a long time there was a lack of communication, so there are a lot of cliches about China [that] are outdated. But before they find something else they can relate to, they have nothing else to use."
Despite his reputation, Ai's political influence is restricted because the audience for his blog is limited and no domestic mainstream media organisation can report his criticism of the Olympics. "I am sure some journalists agree with me but they know it cannot be published," he says. "When anybody is denied freedom of expression, it is a loss for the whole society."
When the games are over, is there a danger that the system will close again?
"Some things are hard to return to the way they were. Take the internet and the flow of information. When you open the window and see blue sky and feel fresh air, nobody wants to close it again."