Flames dance around the corners of a book above a rectangle of grass. The title can still be made out but will soon disappear: 1,000 Years of Joys and Sorrows, a memoir by the celebrated Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei. Its pages crackle in the heat and turn to ash.
Book burnings are usually associated with censorship, fuelled by paranoia and rage, but as the author himself lights the fire, before standing back to watch the spectacle with his 12-year-old son Lao, this one takes on a different flavour.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies