Chinese language Dissident Ai Weiwei Explores the Tragedy of the Refugee Disaster

Ai Weiwei is arguably the best-known up to date artist alive in the present day. Years of beatings, detention, and home arrest by the Chinese language authorities solely fueled his fame within the West. Now residing in exile in Germany, the artist has shifted focus from the repressions of his homeland to the worldwide refugee disaster.

“Within the yr I used to be born my father was exiled,” Weiwei instructed Purpose. “As a poet he was forbidden to put in writing for 20 years. I grew up…being fully discriminated [against] and mistreated. Sure, it is extremely much like a refugee’s situation.”

His debut characteristic movie, Human Stream, which shall be launched within the U.S. this week, chronicles the bodily and emotional journeys of among the world’s 65 million refugees as they flee their homelands. It was shot in over 20 nations.

“It is not solely tragic to the refugees,” says Weiwei, “however it’s moderately tragic to humanity, to our understanding about who we’re.”

Coinciding with the discharge of the movie, Weiwei is unveiling a significant public artwork venture in New York Metropolis, erecting a whole bunch of symbolic obstacles across the 5 boroughs. “It is about territory. It is about borders. It is about immigration.”

State restrictions on the rights of people to journey is a significant theme in Weiwei’s work—and life. For over 4 years, the Chinese language authorities held Weiwei’s passport, making it not possible for him to depart the nation.

“As an artist, I’d have exhibits in worldwide establishments I might not likely attend,” he says. The federal government was “making an attempt to scale back my voice or my risk for creativity.”

In 2015, the Chinese language authorities returned Weiwei’s passport, liberating him to depart China. Lately he is been touring to advertise his movie and oversee the set up of his work in New York Metropolis—having fun with a freedom of motion the artist needs none of us to take as a right.

Produced and edited by Meredith Bragg. Shot by Austin Bragg. Music by Kai Engel.

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Meredith Bragg

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