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Ai Weiwei's mother and sister posted a missing person's report for the renowned artist on the Internet on Tuesday. DW's Yutong Su spoke to Ai Weiwei's mother Ying Gao in an exclusive interview.
Ai Weiwei was arrested on Sunday at Beijing's international airport
Deutsche Welle: You published a handwritten missing person's report on the Internet. Were you not allowed to file it with the police?
Ying Gao: No, they did not even inform us. Now our house is being supervised, this telephone conversation too perhaps. My missing person’s announcement can be understood as a kind of public question to the police.
Are you worried that something bad could happen to Ai Weiwei?
I know my son. He has taken on the role of lawyer for ordinary people. If he sees injustice, he says something. He has paved a path for himself that might not have an escape route. When I asked him to stop for a while he said everything was so corrupt these days and he did not want to shut his eyes to that.
What are his driving forces in this struggle?
He always says: 'What is the point of life? You must know, mum. The point is to do something good.' He means that if nobody says anything, this country and society will not be able to develop further.
Do you know why he wants to build a second studio in Berlin?
When he began to feel insecure in China, when he could no longer work, he started to look for another place. They want to drive him away from here. He needs a calm environment for his art. Germany is best for him he said at the time. I had never thought that they would not even give him the chance to go abroad.
Do you have access to his studio now?
Everything has been confiscated. It is empty now. They have turned off the water and electricity, as well as the telephone lines.
Do you and your family feel intimidated?
You can find bones in an egg. So long as I do what’s right I am not worried. I am ready for any sacrifice.
Are you aware that many people have protested against your son's arrest?
It is not a personal affair and not the affair of a few politicians but the affair of a whole people. Everybody bears responsibility. It hurts to see that our country has come to this.
Author: Yutong Su/act
Editor: Ziphora Robina