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Terry Halliday and Noted Chinese Dissident Artist Ai Weiwei Discuss Human Rights and the Rule of Law in China

February 4, 2013, ABF news

Halliday and Ai in the courtyard of Ai's Beijing studio


In the context of increased police surveillance of Chinese dissidents, ABF Research Professor and Center on Law and Globalization co-Director Terence C. Halliday obtained an exclusive interview with renowned Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei at his studio in Beijing.

Halliday, an expert on human rights and criminal justice in China, spoke to Ai about the climate of political oppression in China and discussed Ai's new “Law-Art Project,” which will feature a “citizen’s investigation” of hundreds of typical law cases. In collaboration with Chinese human rights lawyers, Ai aims to create a record of state violence and repression of freedom of speech in China. Ai told Halliday of the project, “As a human rights artist, it is a way to understand the world. My art work is not about sculpture, but about human behavior under our political conditions.”  

Halliday’s interview with Ai Weiwei is part of a China-wide study of criminal defense and human rights practices in China. Funded by the American Bar Foundation and National Science Foundation, the research has involved extensive interviews with lawyers across China, analysis of Chinese print and online media, and study of international organizations focused on rule of law and human rights in China.

Ai Weiwei’s art has captivated and shocked audiences internationally, with startling original pieces, such as Sunflower Seeds at London’s Tate Modern Museum of Art, and, most recently, with the exhibition According to What? at the Hirshhorn Museum of Art in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

Click here to access the full press release on Halliday’s interview with Ai Weiwei.

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