Chinese artist Ai Weiwei wrapped 14,000 refugee life jackets around the five columns of Berlin’s Konzerthaus to highlight the increasing number of people risking their lives to reach Europe in search of refuge from conflict and hardship.
The temporary art installation, created for the Cinema of Peace Gala – of which the artist is the honorary jury president – collected the life jackets from refugees who crossed the Mediterranean Sea from Turkey to reach the Greek island of Lesbos. Ai has been documenting the refugee crisis via Instagram, showing the human faces of an issue that demands ever more urgent action. Speaking in a recent interview about his response to the crisis, Ai said, “I’m ready for anything as long as I can generate discussion on this issue. If I can use being in the spotlight to highlight what’s happening in Lesbos, then that’s a starting point.”
"If I can use being in the spotlight to highlight what’s happening in Lesbos, then that’s a starting point."
All images © Oliver Lang