Caochangdi is a village which represents thousands of villages outside of the city in China 

In the first of a new Guardian Cities/Tate series, ‘The Artist and their City’, Ai Weiwei, shows us around his neighbourhood in the suburb of Caochangdi, 12km from downtown Beijing. 

A fascinating video, Ai Weiwei gives us an insight into Beijing and what life is like for its residents who are dislocated by the city’s vastness and under surveillance in a one party state. 

Ai Weiwei, also reveals daily life around his neighbourhood, the suburb of Caochangdi, and his studio there.

Ironically for someone whose passport was only returned to him in July 2015, Ai Weiwei does not feel as though Beiijing is a prison for him but (perhaps unsurprisingly) observes that “Beijing is definitely a prison for freedom of speech.”  

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