The Current

Thursday: Artist and activist Ai Weiwei

Artist Ai Weiwei turns the camera on the 65 million people living in the world today as refugees in his documentary, Human Flow - an issue he deeply identifies with.

Ai Weiwei had profound emotions while working on Human Flow.

3 years agoVideo
Ai Weiwei had profound emotions while working on Human Flow. 1:24

Artist and activist Ai Weiwei traveled to 23 countries to chronicle the global refugee crisis in the documentary, Human Flow.

It's not an easy film to watch but he says it's meant to feel alarming.

"This is a human crisis... The world let this happen right in front our eyes."

Weiwei identifies deeply with the 65 million people who find themselves stateless in the world. Born in 1957, the dissident has lived in exile both as a child and adult — being surveilled, arrested, jailed and beaten by the Chinese government.

For Ai, filming Human Flow was profound. 

"I'm [a] sentimental person. I easily have tears when I see the situation. But this is much deeper than that," he tells The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti. 

Ai says the film reveals a deep understanding about how society can live together.

"To see all those values we treasure the most can easily be deteriorated and also be betrayed. It's more than just sadness. Sometimes it's anger. Sometimes it's disappointment," he says.

But Ai still believes in "individuals' possibility."

"I think in an average individuals' mind and heart there's a universe that can be clearly defined and through our act, our behaving we can tell the world who we are and what kind of world we want to be."

Listen to our feature interview with world renowned artist Ai Weiwei on The Current.