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Ai Weiwei
via Instagram/@aiww

Ai Weiwei is releasing a book of first-hand stories from the refugee crisis

The book, Human Flow, is based on the artist’s 2017 film of the same name

Ai Weiwei’s feature length film from 2017, Human Flow, brought attention to the massive scale of the refugee crisis. The handful of first-hand stories heard in the film were apparently just a fraction of those that the artist-slash-activist gathered during production, though.

In fact, Ai Weiwei and collaborators apparently interviewed over 600 migrants and aid workers for the documentary, in 23 countries across the world. 

A new book, also titled Human Flow, contains more than a hundred of these conversations, presented in full, giving an insight into the experience of migration, living in refugee camps, and the circumstances that led people to leave their home countries.

“We tried to find out the history, not just symptoms,” Ai Weiwei said of Human Flow in a 2018 interview with Dazed. “The result is clear. It’s desperate. But you cannot really solve it if you just look at the result, because the result creates a new result and it becomes a cause.”

The book, which will be published October 13, also features photographs taken by the artist during his time travelling to complete the film.

More recently, Ai Weiwei – among other artists – has contributed messages of hope amid the coronavirus pandemic.