1. Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has earned international acclaim for his work in sculpture, installation, photography, film and more. He was catapulted to prominence for his collaboration with Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron in the design of the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics. But that did not stop him from earning the ire and persecution of the Chinese government for criticizing its record on democracy and human rights. Following several instances of intimidation, including a police beating and house arrest, Weiwei was detained at the Beijing International Airport in April 2011. After 81 days he was released without charge, yet still remains under surveillance and is unable to leave China.

    In his latest exhibition, @Large, Weiwei uses the famed prison island of Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay, CA, as the setting for his exploration of incarceration and prisoners of conscience.

    As FOR-SITE Foundation Executive Director and @Large curator Cheryl Haines told Public Art Review, Weiwei's Alcatraz works are meant to explore concepts of freedom, human rights, and our responsibility as global citizens to ensure that these values are upheld. In the exhibition, Weiwei draws attention to the plight of political prisoners as well as both the efforts and repression of pro-democracy and human rights campaigners from around the globe.

    # vimeo.com/111530877 Uploaded 430 Plays 0 Comments
  2. The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is internationally renowned for work that defies the distinction between art and activism.

    A vocal critic of his nation’s government, Ai was secretly detained by Chinese authorities for 81 days in 2011, and is still not permitted to travel outside China. As a result, the artist was unable to visit Alcatraz during the planning of this exhibition; he has developed the artwork at his studio in Beijing, with the help of the FOR-SITE Foundation.

    @Large turns Alcatraz into a space for dialogue about how we define liberty and justice, individual rights and personal responsibility. With this project, he aims to expand our understanding of “the purpose of art, which is the fight for freedom.”

    # vimeo.com/118101053 Uploaded 81 Plays 0 Comments
  3. Song 1 - Grains of Dust by Carleen Anderson

    Verse 1
    (You, me, are we
    All for one or fall) Far from any worries of Third World Problems
    (Far from Third World Problems) Entitled Paved Streets
    (Paved Opportunity) Curbsides bordering the lawns for the chance of
    (Golden Chances) Opportunity
    (Or just plain lucky)

    Chorus 1
    Marching to the chorus singing Them or US
    Vocalising We Not Them are Worthy of Love
    Labelled as Superior or Less to the Gods
    Blinded by the Separations Between Grains of Dust

    Verse 2
    (Fire) The fire blasting through the flesh of her loved one (His lifeless body falls) His lifeless body falls
    Face down pressed against the ground
    Cold, cruel payment
    Breath and blood – Last Sounds

    Chorus 2
    Marching to the choir singing Them or Us
    (The build up from repression The ongoing oppression - Long standing debts) Vocalising We Not Them are Worthy of Love
    (The systematic weapons
    Repeating unlearned lessons – over again) Labeling Superior or Less to the Gods
    (The weary testifying
    The worn out justifying – all sides will lose) Blinded by the Separations (The cycle of violence
    Will only end when respect
    Is for everyone
    (Between Grains of Dust)
    Parted by the pull of Power and Glory Blinded by the Separations Between Grains of Dust

    Composed and performed by Carleen Anderson

    Percussion Crispin Robinson

    Music recorded and produced by Ty Cerdd studios.

    Film by Tim Hopkins

    Joins us on twitter - http://www.twitter.com/_fivesongs

    Amplify the protest - http://www.occupation.org.uk

    # vimeo.com/111832914 Uploaded 1,242 Plays 0 Comments
  4. The Sleeping-Mat Ballad

    I made a friend, he wove this mat
    this yellow mat I sleep on.
    I think he would give his life
    to shelter me, to protect me.
    His heart is strong, stronger than his head.

    We all lie down, a gentle breeze,
    a gentle breeze refreshes our breathing,
    a siren sound, our eyes lock,
    more troubling than before when we were many.
    ‘it's now or never to be heard.’

    Now it’s daybreak, we never pass a peaceful night,
    I sometimes can't believe we've kept it going,
    I tell myself as I compose a post:
    ‘Day 51 and waiting for some answers.’

    I hear an unfamiliar sound and stop:
    It's my friend running across the fast lane.
    ‘They ask why we're still here:
    now they will see, now they will see.’

    Walking towards the flashing lights,
    he stops and turns and looks and smiles.

    Do you think; if we stay;
    we will win; don't pass by;
    we're still here; help us win;
    I am here; this is home;
    help has come; help has gone;
    people come; people go.

    Director: Margaret Constantas
    Composer: Judith Weir
    Singer: Rebecca Afonwy-Jones
    Pianist: Dan Perkin
    Words: Tim Hopkins
    Cinematography: Philip Cowan
    Camera Assistants: Josh Greenway and Jon Smallox
    Art Direction: Sarah Millward and Holly Woolveridge
    Recorded by James Clarke at Tŷ Cerdd Studios

    Joins us on twitter - http://www.twitter.com/_fivesongs
    Amplify the protest - http://www.occupation.org.uk

    # vimeo.com/113044904 Uploaded 1,064 Plays 0 Comments
  5. I Can't Breathe

    Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
    Nobody knows the sorrow
    Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
    No Glory hallelujah

    Sometimes up, sometimes down
    Oh, Lord
    Sometimes dragged down to the ground
    My sweet Lord

    Nobody knows the trouble I've seen
    Nobody knows the sorrow
    Nobody knows the trouble I've seen
    And the world turns round.

    Arranged & Produced by Cerys Matthews
    Engineered & Mixed by James Clarke
    Musicians Cerys Matthews & Mason Neely

    Recorded at Tŷ Cerdd Studios

    Film by Cyrus Mirza'shafa

    Joins us on twitter - http://twitter.com/_fivesongs
    Amplify the protest - occupation.org.uk

    # vimeo.com/114334408 Uploaded 426 Plays 0 Comments

Inspiring Art about Magna Carta Themes

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