Ai Weiwei is infamous for letting his actions speak louder than his words, which seems fitting for his position as a contemporary artist and activist. Known for being unapologetic and outspoken, Ai Weiwei’s undisguised and masterful provocations aren’t always appreciated by his contemporaries: he was once held in Bejing for 81 days under the charge ‘economic crime,’ reminiscent of something out of a Nabokov novel. Regardless of his sometimes unappreciated reception, Ai Weiwei remains a paramount iconoclast who infuses his incendiary art with irrefutable politics. His exhibitions often rattle the very core of people’s insights and implore us to evaluate societal pitfalls, relationships, and impacts with more awareness. In a recent interview with The Guardian, Ai Weiwei talks about art and humanism.”I am not born an artist, I am born a human. I care about human conditions rather than the opinions. I have no choice.” It’s no wonder this incredible human has has been driven to dissect the refugee crisis with his art.
This isn’t the first time Ai Weiwei has curated an installation in the face of the refugee crisis. In January, he posed as the dead infant washed up on the shore in Greece, Alan Kurdi, in an attempt to recreate the now legendary photo that sent shockwaves all across the world. He also recently cancelled his show scheduled to be in Copenhagen after they released their controversial policies about seizing asylum seekers’ valuables and postponing families’ reintegrations.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
This time Ai Weiwei has collected over 14,000 life jackets and has tied them together, draping them up and down the columns of the Berlin Konzerthaus. The jackets are coming from Lesbos or Lesvos, a Greek island that acts as a middle point for those Syrian refugees fleeing from their homeland on their way to Europe. The island was first made popular by its abundance in the Homeric epics. Now it has become the middle ground in a desperate plight to jump ship, acting as both a beacon of hope and a symbol of precariousness.
These life jackets demonstrate the amount of lives that are being risked to find peace; so many lives have been lost in an attempt to reach safe ground. Ai Weiwei showcases his inexorable belief in human rights through his installation. The orange vests, which he received from the Lesbos authorities. stand brightly in the center of Berlin. It only took one night for his installation fully to take shape. 14,000 life jackets are now covering the pillars of this concert house. The timing overlaps that of the Berlinale, perhaps to insinuate it’s not the time to become insular with our attention. Even when people try to distance themselves from the world’s problems, it becomes clear that it’s not as far away as we think. The problems of the world cannot be ignored and Ai Weiwei is hellbent on making sure we won’t.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
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