Excerpt: Attracting millions of comments from supporters and detractors alike, Ai’s blog can be seen as an alternative social space where the future of China was endlessly imagined and fought over.
In this respect, the site, whose entries were constantly deleted, erased and attacked, mirrored the living conditions in those Chinese cities whose embattled communities it often chronicled.
The final entries, which document the near-comic efforts of the state to silence Ai, read almost prophetically: “What can they do to me? Nothing more than to banish, kidnap or imprison me. Perhaps they could fabricate my disappearance into thin air.”