Coronation | COVID-19 pandemic and social control

The new documentary by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, Coronation, has just been released. The film, available online on the Vimeo platform and on the artist’s social media, deals with the closure of the city of Wuhan, the origin of the global crisis. The film was made at a distance, filmed by mobile phones and people who were at the location.

Throughout the film, Weiwei goes through a story that connects the micro to the macro: how did the people in Wuhan deal, over time, with an authoritarian state?

Associated with this idea, the South Korean philosopher Byung-Chul Han leaves in an article his assessment of the Chinese government’s way of controlling the epidemic. According to him “China has created a digital disciplinary society with a social credit system that allows for biopolitical surveillance and population control. Not a single moment of everyday life escapes observation. Each click, each purchase, each contact, each activity on social networks is monitored. 200 million surveillance cameras with facial recognition are used. Anyone who crosses the red light, has contact with opponents of the regime or posts critical comments on social media lives in danger”.

You can see the trailer below and read more about the film here.





Ai Weiwei