The five-columns of Berlin’s Konzerthaus concert hall have taken on a bright orange hue in a new work by Ai Weiwei (featured previously). The installation uses 14,000 discarded life jackets from refugees who landed on the Greek Island of Lesbos after a treacherous voyage across the Mediterranean Sea from Turkey.
His work aims to draw attention to the ongoing humanitarian crisis and the people struggling to reach safety in Europe, using the mass of life vests to highlight the many lives changed in the crisis. It points to the sobering fact that over 400 people have died attempting the same journey since only the beginning of 2016.
Since last December the Chinese artist has been using his Instagram account to document time spent with the thousands of refugees moving through Lesbos. His images capture weary faces with the knowledge that their journey is far from over.
The installation was part of the Cinema for Peace gala on February 15, where Ai Weiwei served as honorary president of the jury.