Published: May 19, 2014

The Conference on World Affairs Athenaeum Program, sponsored by the Center for Asian Studies, brought Alison Klayman to CU Boulder’s campus March 10th-13th. Alison Klayman directed the film Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry. Her important work with Ai Weiwei highlighted an artist with unrelenting spirit and defiance who blurs the line between art and politics.

Klayman spoke to a mixture of Asian studies and film studies classes, where she presented her story and answered questions from the students. Specifically, in the Comparative History: Modernity in China and Japan class as well as the Literature and Popular Culture in China class, Klayman was able to lend students her perspective on travelling to China for the first time, finding work, making a living, and importantly, her relationship with Ai Weiwei. Because of that relationship, her lens on the political and social affairs in China have benefited students who are interested in learning about, living, and working in modern-day China.

In addition to her guest lecturing, she was set up for a “Dinner and a Movie” event, which consisted of a student-only dinner and a free movie screening in Muenzinger Auditorium that was open to all and hosted by the Boulder International Film Series and sponsored by CWA. There were 50 students at the dinner who engaged with Alison in an informal question and answer session. They discussed her filmmaking background, her experience living in China for four years, and her time with Ai Weiwei. The students learned about opportunities available for them within a changing world, and how important it is to believe in what you do. There were 350 people in attendance at the screening that evening, which was again followed by a question and answer session with Alison. Truly, the CU campus and the Boulder greater community benefited greatly from hosting such a unique and engaging guest.