Dear Friends of Refugees International:
This morning, artist and activist Ai Weiwei launched Ai Weiwei MASK, an art project in collaboration with eBay for Charity to raise funds for the COVID-19 humanitarian and human rights efforts undertaken by Human Rights Watch (HRW), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), and Refugees International.
At Refugees International, we are honored and humbled to be among the non-governmental organizations that Ai Weiwei has designated to receive funds from this noble initiative. We deeply respect the work of HRW and MSF, and we appreciate their critical human rights and humanitarian efforts. In our own reporting and advocacy, Refugees International is sounding the alarm on the crucial importance of support for the displaced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and pressing governments and international organizations to make sure that vulnerable communities are not left behind.
The Ai Weiwei MASK launch announcement was made this morning in the United Kingdom, and I am pleased to draw from the announcement in providing further information on this inspired effort:
“Ai Weiwei MASK is an art project offering face coverings hand printed with iconic images of Ai’s life-long campaign for free speech and individual rights. The images are silk-screened by hand on non-surgical cloth face masks. The artworks are being made in the artist’s studio in Berlin …”
In his statement on the Ai Weiwei MASK project, Ai comments: “The COVID-19 pandemic is a humanitarian crisis. It challenges our understanding of the 21st century and warns of dangers ahead. It requires each individual to act, both alone and collectively.”
In 2018, Refugees International was so very privileged to host Ai Weiwei at our New York Circle event and present him with our Exceptional Service Award. In doing so, we recognized his extraordinary dedication to promoting and defending human rights through his art and his activism, and his commitment to social justice for the most marginalized and vulnerable individuals and communities.
His art, his activism, and his humanity are a source of inspiration, and we are proud to be associated with this effort.
The artwork was produced to be widely available to the general public, and you can find additional information about the Ai Weiwei MASK project at https://www.ebay.com/e/charity/aiweiwei.
Refugees International and Ai Weiwei
In 2018, Refugees International was privileged to host Ai Weiwei at our New York Circle event and present him with our Exceptional Service Award. In doing so, we recognized his extraordinary dedication to promoting and defending human rights through his art and his activism, and his commitment to social justice for the most marginalized and vulnerable individuals and communities.
Watch him below at our New York Circle event in conversation with the New Yorker’s David Remnick.