Ai Weiwei and the Art of Politics

On July 23rd, 2015 Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei left China for the first time in four years. But only after the British Government denied Ai a 6-month visa because he neglected to report tax fraud charges that the Chinese government pressed (and later dropped) in 2011.  These charges, which were followed with Ai’s mysterious […]

A DIY Guide for Overthrowing Dictators

After receiving a copy of Blueprint for Revolution, my top concern was bringing the book home. If the customs officials at the Beijing airport chanced to order my luggage into the X-ray machine, they would surely ask what books I was carrying. Last December, I told them, “textbooks,” smiling a little, looking confident, a Beijing […]

Portugal and Africa: Bitter Past to Artful Partnership

On the evening of April 24th, 1974 and the morning of the next day, radios across Portugal broadcasted a pair of songs that would bring about one of the most profound political changes the nation had ever seen. The songs—first Portugal’s 1974 Eurovision entry, “E Depois do Adeus,” then the traditional folksong “Grândola Vila Morena” […]