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Young Ai Weiwei at Tompkins Square Park in 1986; image courtesy of Asia Society, New York
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HOME, BUT NOT FREE
by Barbara Pollack



Ai Weiwei is back home in his gray brick studio complex in Beijing, but that hardly means he's free. After 80 days of detention in an unknown location with no formal charges brought against him, he has been released on bail, having "confessed to tax evasion and destroying documents," according to Chinese news agencies. His first words to reporters meeting him at his doorstep gently informed them that he cannot give interviews. For the next year, he will be carefully watched, unable to leave Beijing, most probably unable even to tweet, until his case is finally resolved.

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