My simple yet rigorous daily schedule was as follows:
- Every morning I got up at 6:30am, after which I had twenty minutes to wash, dress, and brush my teeth.
- 7:30am was morning exercises, which consisted of walking back and forth across the six large floor-tiles of my room. My every movement was performed while clinched between two policemen. They maintained a constant distance of 80 centimeters from me – no more, no less.
- 7:40am was breakfast: two small plastic bags of milk, an egg, and one and a half steamed buns. Three kinds of pickled vegetables and cold dishes. I was given twenty minutes to eat, including washing up afterwards.
- At 8am, after a change of guards, I had an hour of exercise time: repetitive pacing.
- From 9am to 11:40am Reflection time. I was interrogated about my “problems”.
- Lunch was a half hour from 11:40am to 12:10pm. After lunch was another hour of exercise: pacing.
- 1:30pm to 2:30pm: afternoon nap.
- 2:30pm to 5:40pm: the second round of interrogation about my “problems”.
- 5:40pm was dinner. They served my food to me in a plastic box. I was given a spoon, but no chopsticks.
- 6pm: Another hour of exercise.
- 7pm to 9pm was study time, during which I was meant to write confessions.
- 9pm: half an hour of exercise.
- After 9:30pm I could reserve shower time, upon request to the duty guard. Everyday I spent ten minutes washing that day’s socks and underwear, taking a shower afterwards. Twenty minutes altogether, all of it spent with a soldier standing guard very near by.
- At 10pm, the guard on duty gave the punctual order to get in bed and lie down.
Read Weiwei’s ‘Letter of Separation’ to his young son, part of the Art Angel Inside: Artists and Writers in Reading Prison project, here.