Internationally renowned artist Ai Weiwei is one of 27 artists who have lent their support to a high profile charity auction in aid of award-winning NGO, Help Refugees.
Others who have donated works include Cecily Brown, Jake and Dinos Chapman. Jeremy Deller, Harland Miller, Julian Opie, Marc Quinn, and the photographer Rankin.
The auction, which will commence at 12.00pm ET/5pm GMT Thursday 7 December, will be open for two weeks on the online auction platform Paddle8 (ending on Thursday 21 December) and is being held in conjunction with the UK release of HUMAN FLOW, Weiwei’s feature documentary about the global refugee crisis.
Captured over the course of an eventful year in 23 countries, HUMAN FLOW follows a chain of urgent human stories that stretches across the globe; from overwhelmed refugee camps to barbed-wire borders; from dislocation and disillusionment to courage, endurance and adaptation; from the haunting lure of lives left behind to the unknown potential of the future. HUMAN FLOW will have special preview screenings across the UK and Ireland followed by a LIVE satellite In Conversation event with Ai Weiwei and special guests on Monday 4th December. Altitude Film Distribution will release HUMAN FLOW in cinemas on Friday 8th December. For more information and to find where HUMAN FLOW is playing near you visit www.humanflow.film.
Says Ai Weiwei: “As an artist, I always believe in humanity and I see this crisis as my crisis. I see those people coming down to the boats as my family. They could be my children, could be my parents, could be my brothers. As a human being, I believe any crisis or hardship that happens to another human being should be as if it is happening to us. I want to thank all the artists for their generosity and hope the funds raised can help many refugees this winter.”
Josie Naughton, Co-founder and CEO of Help Refugees said: “We are so incredibly grateful to these artists for donating their beautiful work, and thrilled to be the official NGO partner for Human Flow. Two years on, the grassroots effort is still at the forefront of the response to the refugee crisis. Public and media attention has waned, but we are still watching children arrive by the thousands on European shores cold and sick, and now the harshest winter months are upon us when once again families will be sleeping in flimsy tents. The funds raised from this auction will help provide vital necessities for desperately vulnerable refugees – from winterised shelters to warm food and clothing, emergency medical care and much more. We implore collectors to choose love this winter by bidding generously.”
Help Refugees is a pioneering organisation working on the frontline of the refugee crisis in Europe and beyond. Founded in 2015 as part of a grassroots movement of volunteers, in just two years they have become one of the most prominent and effective humanitarian aid organisations working with refugees. Responding to urgent needs rapidly, and acting where large INGOs can’t or won’t, Help Refugees now supports over 80 different projects which have reached/ benefitted over 600,000 people escaping war, violence and persecution. They work across Europe and the Middle East including Syria and are soon to begin working to support the Rohingya in Bangladesh.
Working with minimal overheads, with donations going directly to projects that have a real and tangible impact, Help Refugees is part of a new movement of humanitarian aid. In recognition of this work, they have been the recipient of multiple awards including the Liberty Jo Cox ‘More in Common’ Award 2016, Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Global Thinkers 2016 and the NESTA New Radicals 2016. They have also been named a #goalkeeper2017 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and NME Charity of the Year for 2017. https://helprefugees.org