Ai Weiwei's Journey as a Refugee Through Europe

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Since his first visit to the Greek island of Lesbos in December 2015, Ai Weiwei and his team have traveled to refugee camps all around the Mediterranean, including in Syria, Turkey, Italy, Israel and France.
The exhibition at Foam, Amsterdam, will deal with “the fate of the individual versus the overruling systems of society,” switching from Ai Weiwei’s personal experiences as a refugee of the Chinese Government, to the hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants who have risked their lives to reach Europe, only to find their path barred by a succession of border closures.
Alongside marble sculptures and films, Ai Weiwei will cover the walls of Foam with thousands of photographs taken on his mobile phone.
This immense collage will reflect on all the personal encounters the artist has had with individuals and the tragic situation unfolding in the Mediterranean, bringing to our attention what is, in Ai Weiwei’s words, is: “The biggest, most shameful humanitarian crisis since World War II”.
The exhibition grows from the publication of Foam Magazine #43, released in December 2015, on the theme ‘Freedom of Expression under Surveillance’, in which Ai Weiwei worked as the guest editor.
More information available here.

Tom Seymour

Tom Seymour is an Associate Editor at The Art Newspaper and an Associate Lecturer at London College of Communication. His words have been published in The Guardian, The Observer, The New York Times, Financial Times, Wallpaper* and The Telegraph. He has won Writer of the Year and Specialist Writer of the year on three separate occassions at the PPA Awards for his work with The Royal Photographic Society.