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Artist Ai Weiwei turns teacher

Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 01:47

Dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei takes up a guest professorship at the Berlin University of the Arts. Sharon Reich reports.

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Chinese artist and free-speech advocate Ai Weiwei prepares to begin his next chapter as a professor next week at Berlin University of the Arts. Ai says his classes will focus on art, not issues of censorship and activism, even though they've been an important part of his own work. SOUNDBITE: Artist Ai Weiwei saying (English): "I will not... put those censor concerns, those political concerns or activist or human rights concerns into my teaching because I am teaching at art school and of course those (concerns) are in me but I will not let my students also... you know, I will not put pressure on them, these kind of issues. I think everybody has the right to decide their own principles." Ai was reunited with his son and partner in Berlin after Chinese authorities unexpectedly returned his passport in July. They had confiscated it four years ago after secretly detaining him for 81 days. He now has a three-year-long German visa and says his goal will be to help students develop their own creative voices. SOUNDBITE: Artist Ai Weiwei saying (English): "I am not encouraging any students to be like me - I think the best teacher would not have students like him, you know that's only low down education. Education is about a moment or activity which creates something different, so first thing to be different is different from their own teachers." Ai starts teaching classes on November 1st.

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Artist Ai Weiwei turns teacher

Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 01:47