Ai Weiwei: “Let Us Forget”

With Twitter blocked and his Fanfou apparently censored already*, it’s been a rough couple of days for Ai Weiwei, but the new blog remains free. Today, he posted this piece. It’s very short, and very, very poignant. Please, please read this.


Let us forget about June 4th, forget this ordinary day. Life has taught us, under totalitarianism, every day is the same. Every day in a totalitarian society is one day, there is no ‘other day’, no ‘yesterday’ or ‘tomorrow’. We no longer need partial truth, we don’t need partial justice or partial fairness.

Without freedom of speech, without freedom of news, without freedom of elections, we are not people, we do not need to remember. Lacking the right to remember, we choose to forget.

Let us forget every instance of persecution, every instance of humiliation; every massacre and every cover-up, every lie, every time we are pushed down, every death. Forget every moment of suffering, then forget every moment of forgetting. This is all just so that they, like ‘men of honor’, might ridicule us.

Forget those soldiers who fired on civilians, those students whose bodies were crushed by the treads of tanks, the whistle and scream of bullets and blood on big streets and in the alleyways; a city and a Square without tears. Forget the interminable lies, the rulers hoping everyone has forgotten, forget their cowardess, their evil and ineptitude. We must forget, for they must be forgotten. Only when they’ve been forgotten can [we] exist. For the sake of existing, let us forget.

*A Note

His fanfou isn’t actually blocked — I really should read the error messages, it turns out — rather, the entire site is down for “maintenance” until June 6th. I must say, I suspect that the government may have had something to do with the timing of that maintenance! I might even go so far as to suspect that actually, there is no maintenance required at all!

UPDATE: Rue89 has translated this English translation into French.
UPDATE 2: Now also available in Spanish.

0 thoughts on “Ai Weiwei: “Let Us Forget””

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  3. “Lacking the right to remember, we choose to forget.”

    This sentence sticks out to me the most as it really gets to the heart of the “false choice” of forgetting. Many people here claim that they are making a “choice” to forget 6/4, when they actually have no other option. It’s funny how we can actually fool ourselves so easily.


  4. I’m amused how the act of forgetting is at the same time an act of sabotage. Total submission to the Chinese system accelerates its decline; without pressure from below, what would stop the petty officials from their outrages? What would remind the central government of their precarious position? In this way, popular discontent becomes invisible, freeing the government to degenerate as much as it wishes.


  5. I think other website owners should take this web site as an model, very clean and great user genial design . “Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.” by Jerry Seinfeld.


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