The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website


Chinese Dissident Ai Weiwei Gets Passport
Christian Eede , July 22nd, 2015 11:52

A significant move for the dissident artist who has been banned from leaving China since 2011


A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

Chinese artist and noted dissident Ai Weiwei has shared a photo, via Instagram, of a Chinese passport which he has been granted for the first time since he was banned from leaving the country in 2011. "Today i got my passport," reads the post which you can see above.

Ai has been under strict controls including a ban on all foreign travel since he was detained for 81 days by the Chinese government in 2011. Coming from a family of dissidents, he maintained a popular blog on Sinar Weibo, China's biggest internet platform, highlighting the government's failings but it was shut down in 2009 by Weibo itself due to his outspoken nature. Chinese authorities alleged that economic crimes were responsible for his detention but many believed it was due to his dissidence. After spending 81 days in detention, he was placed under several restrictions since authorities said that they still suspected Ai of other crimes. Despite Ai's continued work on international exhibitions from his home in China, the passport represents a significant moment for the Ai's future both in his own artistic work and in speaking out against the government.