The Chinese dissident artist and honorary Royal Academician Ai Weiwei has long-been a supporter of refugees since the beginning of the European migrant crisis, even walking in support of refugees with Anish Kapoor across London, with Artlyst in attendance. Now, the artist has traveled to the Greek island of Lesbos to volunteer at the Moria refugee camp.
Ai shared pictures and videos of his experience on the photo sharing platform Instagram, documenting the plight of refugees in the region having travelled stricken regions of the Middle East and Africa, having survived the dangerous journey to Greece. Ai gave his 185,000 Instagram followers an insight into what daily life is like for refugees arriving in Europe.
The artist wrote in an Instagram post highlighting the conditions of the camp “In the Moria refugee camp there [is] no heating. No light.” Ai also uploaded a video of aid workers helping people off a rubber dinghy as they arrive from Turkey to the Greek island, after nearly 700 have drowned in the Aegean Sea on this route, this year alone.
The artist’s followers have praised Ai for highlighting the reality on the ground and taking action.“The situation that the refugees are in is so important for everyone to see,” one of the artist’s followers commented. “Thank you for posting.”
Artlyst walked with Ai Weiwei and Anish Kapoor earlier in the year. The artists have joined forces for a walk across London as they strode down London’s Piccadilly at the beginning of an eight-mile journey to show solidarity with refugees around the world.
“This is a walk of compassion, a walk together as if we were walking to the studio,” Kapoor told the throng of press. “Peaceful. Quiet. Creative.”
Kapoor then took out a full-page advertisement in the Guardian urging the UK government to act on the migrant crisis.
Image: Ai Weiwei: Instagram, courtesy of the artist.