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Ai Weiwei on Self-Censorship and Freedom of Expression

The sculpture 'Surveillance Camera' made of marble in 2010 by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is displayed as part of the exhibition 'Evidence' at the Martin-Gropius Bau museum in Berlin, during a press preview on April 2, 2014. On 3,000 square metres in 18 rooms and the Lichthof court, the museum will be displaying works and installations from the artist which were either designed for the Martin-Gropius-Bau or have not yet been shown in Germany, from April 3 to July 7, 2014. AFP PHOTO / JOHANNES EISELE +++ RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE, MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION, TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)

In an email to the Huffington Post, Ai analyzed the culture of “self-censorship” at play in China’s art world, drawing a line between the government’s actions and an old Chinese saying, which translates to “killing the chicken to scare the monkey.” The essay is reprinted in full below.

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Banned Books Week – Sept 25-Oct 2, 2010

Banned Books in America

It’s the last week of September. The blush is on the apple tree. Gold and burgundy zinnias announce the change of season. And perennial displays of banned and challenged books bedeck library shelves and bookstore windows across the country.

Banned Books Week 2010

Sponsored by the American Library Association, along with writers and book sellers, Banned Books Week is a celebration of the right to read. According to the ALA, 460 book challenges were reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom from communities across the United States in 2009. Banned Books Week 2010 is September 25 through October 2. You can find more information at the Banned Books website:

Here, four Southern Oregon writers reflect on the psychology of censorship, and on reading and writing in a complex literary culture.

Banned in Boston!

“I remember that when I was a teenager I loved to buy books that

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