01 Sep Ai Weiwei’s film on Covid-19 lockdown in Wuhan creates ripples
By turning camera on Wuhan City in China, just after the outbreak of Covid 19, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has created a new controversy through his documentary film ‘Coronation’. In the film, he reveals the militarized and often brutal nature of the Chinese government by enforcing a strict quarantine in Wuhan from January to April after the outbreak of the Covid19.
Though the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei now lives in Cambridge in the UK, the documentary, “Coronation,” was filmed in Wuhan by a team of amateur Wuhan filmmakers. Through ‘Coronation’, Ai Wei Wei reveals a society lacking trust, transparency, and respect for humanity.
For showing the nature of the draconian lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, the director used footage filmed by citizens in Wuhan. It also reveals its efficiency in stopping the spread of the virus.
Putting Chinese Government in defence, Ai Weiwei said: “Expressing oneself is a part of being human. To be deprived of a voice is to be told you are not a participant in society; ultimately it is a denial of humanity”..
The Covid19 is believed to have begun to spread late last year in Wuhan, a city of 11 million in China’s Hubei province. This past January, as cases rose rapidly, the Chinese government put the area into a lockdown, enacting the largest documented quarantine in human history. Last Thursday, artist Ai Weiwei revealed that he had a team of camera people within Wuhan from the start. Under his remote direction from Europe, they filmed throughout the city for the duration of the quarantine. The result is the newly released film Coronation.“China has assumed the status of superpower on the global stage, yet it remains poorly understood by other nations,” reads a statement on the artist’s official website.
“Through the lens of the pandemic, ‘Coronation’ clearly depicts the Chinese crisis management and social control machine — through surveillance, ideological brainwashing, and brute determination to control every aspect of society. The statement continues: The film shows the changes that took place in a city and in individual space under the impact of the virus; it illustrates the value of individual life in the political environment, reflecting on the difficulties we face as individuals and countries in the context of globalization.
Despite the impressive scale and speed of the Wuhan lockdown, we face a more existential question: can civilization survive without humanity? Can nations rely on one another without transparency or trust? Ai has encountered numerous legal troubles in China over his art, activism, and criticism of the government, including a three-month imprisonment in 2011. He has lived in Europe since being allowed to leave China in 2015.