Under the Dome
Artist: Chai Jing
Date of Action: August 2021
Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion
Medium: Public Art
Confronting Bodies: Chinese Government
Description of Artwork: "Under the Dome" is a documentary about air pollution in China. Facts about the detrimental effects of air pollution on the environment and on the health of Chinese citizens are presented in a straightforward manner by Ms. Jing. She also interviews members of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, illustrating the inability of the Ministry to enforce environmental laws due to the power hierarchy present within the Chinese government.
The Incident: The documentary was removed from major Chinese video websites a week after its release date. As the film became viral within China due to its content, the Communist Party's central propaganda department demanded its removal from the internet. At first, the central propaganda department demanded the film not be reported on and it could not be featured on home pages, but as the film gained momentum, its removal from the internet was deemed necessary by the propaganda department.
Results of Incident: The removal of this documentary from the internet has sparked conversations within China as to which government party was in support of the video and which wanted it to be removed; the desire to have this video removed may reflect an inability to have productive conversations about the future of China's environment.