Ai Weiwei asks Julian Assange

From an conversation held on February 27 between Hans Ulrich Obrist and Julian Assange for e-flux journal, where a number of artists were invited to ask JA questions:

Ai Weiwei: As a perfect example of how individuals can act against collective power, such as the state, what do you think about the future of this trend? How can individuals use their power to question state power?

JA: There are many technical and practical responses to this question. But this is just not a matter of things that may be useful or practical to do. I think a certain philosophical attitude is needed. And it is this attitude that then pulls together the practical considerations that must be part of a realization of that attitude. So, we encourage the people and our supporters to understand that courage is contagious. It’s a practical reality that, for example, most revolutions start in public squares. Why is that? It’s not like there are more people in a public square. You still have the same number of people in the population, whether they are in their homes, in the street, or in the public square. But in a public square, if there are a few courageous people, everyone else in the public square can see the courage of those individuals and it starts to spread.


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