Ai Weiwei’s First Movie on Refugees
The Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei is working on his first movie to document the crisis from Lesbos to Lebanon.
The artist first visited the Greek island of Lesbos on Christmas day in 2015 and has since moved his studio there. For the past few months he has been documenting the plight of refugees on the island, photographing and recording videos of people arriving from Turkey by boat or already at the Idomeni refugee camp.
The artist has also hired a professional film crew for the first time and, with their help, plans to gather footage over the course of the next year. The editing of the film is expected to take a further six months.
On his Instagram and Twitter accounts, Ai has documented his trips with his film crew to Lebanon and to the Za’atari camp in Jordan, which is home to thousands of Syrian refugees. The artist and his team appear to be travelling against the flow of people fleeing to Europe from the Middle East and North Africa.
Meanwhile, an exhibition of Ai’s work opens at the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens this month. It will feature 25 works, including a new marble sculpture inspired by the institution’s archaeological collection and works made in response to the refugee crisis.