This June 2017 video from Denmark is called Ai Weiwei turns migrant lifejackets into art in Copenhagen.
Photos: Artist Ai Weiwei has draped Berlin’s concert hall with 14,000 refugee life jackets
Ai Weiwei has been a harsh critic of Europe’s response to its refugee crisis.
He recently set up a studio on the Greek island of Lesbos, the main entry point for tens of thousands of refugees who make the dangerous sea crossing from Turkey. He is working on several projects that highlight the refugees’ plight, recently reenacting the harrowing photo of drowned Syrian toddler Alan Kurdi.
In Lesbos, the artist has been collecting thousands of life jackets discarded by refugees when they reach the coast, for an installation that opened today (Feb. 13) in Berlin. Some 14,000 of the orange life vests were wrapped around the pillars of the city’s concert hall.
More than 3,700 migrants died crossing the Mediterranean last year, according to the International Organization for Migration. Many would-be refugees are trying to reach Germany, which registered more than 1 million migrants last year.
The solidarity of broad social layers with the refugees in Berlin remains considerable but the policy of the Berlin Senate of SPD and CDU is diametrically opposed to this sentiment. Refugees are being crammed into inhumane camps, bullied and brutally deported: here.
Refugees confront inhumane conditions at mass accommodation centres in Berlin: here.
Last summer, the department responsible for dealing with the influx of refugees became a symbol of the inhuman asylum policy of the Berlin state administration. Images of the queues of exhausted and desperate people, including the sick, pregnant women and small children, were seen around the world and unleashed indignation everywhere: here.