Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has won this year’s edition of the International Joan Baptista Cendrós Award from Òmnium Cultural. This grassroots organisation has 70.000 members and 40 local branches across Catalonia and receives no public funding. The award ceremony will take place on Tuesday night at Catalonia’s National Theater in Barcelona.

Òmnium rewards Weiwei for his commitment to denouncing repression in Catalonia and for his defence of human rights around the world, including China. Jordi Cuixart, president of Òmnium Cultural, has assured that Weiwei “is a clear example that neither repression, nor imprisonment, nor exile can be a limit in the defence of rights and freedoms”.

The Chinese artist visited Cuixart when he was imprisoned and Cuixart remembers the meeting as “a breath of hope and an international loudspeaker of Spain’s repression”. “This award is a recognition of a working life and commitment to human rights, the values ​​of art and freedom of expression, and, in particular, to his support for the cause of Catalonia’s freedom,” Cuixart added.

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