High-profile Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has told reporters that he will release a documentary next year about the refugee crisis.
Speaking at a press conference in Bern on 27 April, Ai announced that he has shot over 600 hours of footage in refugee camps such as Idomeni on the Greek-Macedonian border and Lesbos, including hundreds of interviews. Images of his visits to the refugee camps can be seen on his social media accounts.
In an interview with Al Jazeera last month, he said that his impression from his time in the camps is that the refugees’ “very basic human rights have been neglected”.
Ai Weiwei says that his talks with refugees have revealed that, “they are very naive…they think there is some kind of future waiting for them,” adding that he believes their future is “really dark.”
“As an artist, I don’t know what to do. I just try to be there, document the situation. We are doing documentary films. We are trying to first study the situation and be involved, and give the world a full picture of whatever we have seen.”
Ai Weiwei has used his position as an artist before to highlight the European refugee crisis before. At the start of this year he pulled out of two exhibitions in Copenhagen in protest of the Danish government’s decision to seize asylum seeker’s assets.