Feb 02, 2016 10:49AM

Ai Weiwei Recreates Image Of Drowned Syrian Refugee


Politically active artist and occasional selfie-taker Ai Weiwei has recreated one of the most disturbing viral images of recent times in an effort to bring new awareness to the plight of refugees. Since the Chinese government reinstated his passport, Ai's turned his attention to the Europe's refugee crisis — closing his Copenhagen exhibition just last week in protest of harsh asylum laws that were passed in Denmark.

Ai is currently working on a number of refugee-focused projects from the Greek island of Lesbos — a major entry point into the European Union for asylum seekers. This week, he recreated the tragic image of drowned three-year-old Syrian refugee Aylan Kurdi, who was found washed up on a Turkish beach late last year. The widely circulated photograph was accompanied by the hashtag #KiyiyaVuranInsanlik (translation: humanity washed ashore) and reminded many of the realities of the refugee crisis.

According to the Washington Post, Ai staged the image for India Today magazine as part of the India Art Fair. While inserting himself into an image that was powerful enough on its own could be viewed as suspect, the symbolic work complements Ai's active involvement in the refugee crisis — if you've looked at his Instagram lately, you'll notice that he's been assisting refugees as they arrive ashore on the daily. Keep up the great work, Ai!

Photos: Twitter, @aiww

Lucy Jones