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When Home Won't Let You Stay: Art and Migration [feat. Ai Weiwei]

Ai Weiwei's "Safe Passage", installed at Minneapolis Institute of Art for the exhibition "When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Art and Migration". Courtesy of the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

By choice or by force. With great success or great struggle. People move or are uprooted, for many reasons. The world is currently witness to the highest levels of movement on record; the United Nations estimates that one out of every seven people is an international or internal migrant or refugee.

Borrowing its title from Somali-British poet Warsan Shire, ‘When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Art and Migration’ highlights the diverse artistic responses to migration, ranging from personal stories to poetic meditations in a range of mediums. See how the global movement of people today through migration, immigration, and displacement has mobilized artists from over a dozen countries to reimagine ideas of home and place.

Ai Weiwei, Safe Passage, 2016
An internationally recognized artist and activist, Ai Weiwei has used his work to bring increased attention and visibility to human rights issues. Debuting in Berlin, with later iterations in Japan and Chile, Safe Passage marks its U.S. premiere at Mia. The installation comprises thousands of discarded lifejackets, worn by refugees making the dangerous sea journey from Turkey to Greece, to be installed on Mia’s exterior columns.