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Ai Wei-wei unveils documentary about refugees in Prague

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Prague, Dec 14 (CTK) – Chinese artist and human rights activist Ai Wei-wei introduced his film Human Flow about the situation of refugees in the present-day world during his stay in Prague on Thursday.

Along with his team, Ai Wei-wei, who considers himself a refugee, visited 40 camps in 23 countries to shoot the film.

He said that he was able to identify with the people in search of a safe haven.

Ai Wei-wei said he had to leave China, now living Berlin.

He said his status was different, but he, too, was expelled from his home country and he had to leave it over political persecution.

The projection of the film was organised by the National Gallery in Prague which has repeatedly presented Ai Wei-wei’s work.

Ai Wei-wei said he felt sorry that the Czech Republic or its political representation had no understanding for refugees.

It is unique that an artistic institution has joined the presentation of the film. It has been presented in Germany, the USA and other countries, but today, it is for the first time thanks to a museum, he added.

This proves the importance of cultural institutions, especially in the Czech Republic where this is no popular topic as the discourse of it is very critical and it has negative reactions in Czech society, Ai Wei-wei said.

He said this was why he was there and he wanted to explain it.

Ai Wei-wei said the Czech Republic had not accepted the refugees, but he believed that Czechs had a humane character in themselves.

He said he believed that Czechs have a cultural character, they have an excellent literature, there are people with critical thought here.

Ai Wei-wei said after the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall, there were 11 walls on the borders in the world, but now there were 70 “and the USA wants to build another one.”

People do not want to be tolerant as if this has become an international movement, he added.

The Czech Republic is a part of this. Europe is not courageous, why does it have no confidence, why has it lost integrity in the question of human rights protection? Ai Wei-wei asked.

This is no regional problem, this is a global problem and it will even intensify in the future, he added.

On account of his criticism of the Chinese regime, Ai Wei-wei spent many months in home arrest and the authorities confiscated his passport. He was returned it in 2015 and then he moved to Berlin.

Ai Wei-wei said the shooting of the film took eight months.

The film is about global conditions of refugees, not only from the conflict areas, but also from Africa, where people flee the famine, the climate change and environmental problems, he added.

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