One of China’s leading dissidents, artist Ai Weiwei, has accepted a teaching post at a top German university. But he fears he won’t be allowed to leave China.
Ai, 54, was released from jail in China in June after sentencing in April for “suspected economic crimes.” He is now under house arrest.
How long is your new job contract?
If I remember correctly, it is an assignment as a teacher at Berlin University of the Arts for three years.
Why did you accept this new role?
After 81 days put away, I was happy to accept. It’s important to do something for teaching.
Describe your life now.
My passport has been taken away. I am not allowed to leave Beijing. I have to report to the police before I go shopping or to a restaurant.
Has it affected your art?
My art will never change. It is deep in my bones. But it has made many things clearer. I have been working in the direction of freedom of expression.