CoroNation: Ai Weiwei releases lockdown documentary about Wuhan

Nurses in the ICU ward of a hospital in Wuhan © Ai Weiwei

The artist and activist Ai Weiwei is today releasing CoroNation, a documentary film about the unprecedented lockdown that began in January in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the first patient with coronavirus (Covid-19) symptoms was identified in December last year.

The documentary footage was shot by individuals living through the Wuhan lockdown and shows ordinary lives in extraordinary times: a couple attempting to return to Wuhan after visiting family face police checks and random temperature controls; a courier delivers essentials to residents barred from leaving their community; a doctor dons layers of protective clothing before work in a labyrinthine new temporary coronavirus treatment centre. In one cameo an emergency construction worker is forced to live out of his car; in another, a grieving son navigates the bureaucracy of retrieving his fathers ashes.

Wuhan Central Station during the lockdown © Ai Weiwei

Life in the city of 11 million people has since returned to normal, and no new cases have been registered in Wuhan since mid-May. The aim of the film, according to a statement, is to show “the Chinese crisis management and social control machine—through surveillance, ideological brainwashing, and brute determination to control every aspect of society.”

Ai left China in 2015 and moved first to Berlin and then to the UK. He directed and produced the 115Read More – Source