Turn your iPhone into an iWeiwei
For two years, China has denied the famed blogger Ai Weiwei freedom to travel. Now you can help him see the world. Turn your phone into an iWeiwei.
Ai Weiwei's courageous views in support of democracy and free expression have previously landed him in prison in China, and now he still cannot travel freely, a fate shared by bloggers in Syria, Iran, Cuba and many other countries.
That’s where you come in: See the cartoon image to the right? We want to take Weiwei all over the world. By dropping his cartoon alter ego, iWeiwei, into photos of our hometowns and tourist attractions we can help him enjoy travelling from his home computer. By placing his image in front of Chinese embassies, government offices, and companies who do business in China, we can deliver his protest virtually.
Let’s highlight Weiwei’s struggle and make it unavoidable for policymakers, Chinese officials, and companies that do business in China. Let’s stand in solidarity with all those artists and bloggers who do not enjoy freedom of movement.
Here’s how to participate:
1) Download the cartoon image to the right and simply insert him into one of your own photos. A basic, free, online photo editor like Pixlr, which is for use right in your browser with no downloads necessary, would do the job—the cartoon to the right has a transparent background, so you can simply open your background image in Pixlr Express, go to "adjustment" --> "add image" --> "browse", select the cartoon from wherever you've saved it, and then move, resize, and rotate Weiwei however you'd like. Other photo editors or even word processors could be used, too, and there are free mobile apps (like PhotoPunch on Android) that can make this mashup easy on your phone. Or print out iWeiwei and take him with you so you can snap a photo together.
2) Join the conversation at #iWeiwei. Post your photos, interact with Weiwei himself by tweeting directly to him at @aiww, or help out with ideas for destinations, people to involve, and ways to spread the word. Movements.org (@AYM), Friends of Ai Weiwei (@FriendsofAiWW), and Weiwei himself (@aiww) will be there.
Ai Weiwei may still be under house arrest, but you can help him see the world. All you have to do is turn your iPhone into an iWeiwei human rights machine.