Parrish Art Screens Ai Weiwei’s ‘Human Flow’ Documentary, April 13





Co-presented with the Hamptons Take 2 Film Festival, the screening is followed by a talk with Firas Kayal,

Senior Policy Advisor, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Office in New York.

Still from Human Flow an Amazon Studios release. Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios

The Parrish Art Museum will screen Human Flow—the monumental documentary of the international refugee crisis by renowned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei—on Friday, April 13 at 6pm, in a collaboration with the Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival (HT2FF). Human Flow (2017, PG-13, 145 minutes), filmed over the course of a year (2016) at 40 camps in 23 countries, is Ai’s powerful visual expression of this massive human migration of more than 65 million people forced from their homes to escape famine, climate change, and war. Following the screening, Firas Kayal, Senior Policy Advisor at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)office in New York, will be in conversation with Corinne Erni, Parrish Senior Curator of ArtsReach and Special Projects.

“I am very pleased to continue our partnership with HT2FF to screen this important work by one of the best-known artists today taking on such an important and deeply troubling topic that regards us all as humans,” said Erni. “I also look forward to hear the expert voice from the United Nations after the film.”

The documentary elucidates both the staggering scale of the refugee crisis—the greatest human displacement since World War II—and its profoundly personal human impact. Human Flow follows a chain of urgent human stories that stretches around the globe in countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, France, Greece, Germany, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, and Turkey. The film is a witness to its subjects and their desperate search for safety, shelter, and justice: from teeming refugee camps to perilous ocean crossings 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.

Ai Weiwei (b. 1957) is a Chinese contemporary artist active in sculpture, installation, architecture, curating, photography, and film.  As a political activist, he calls attention to human rights violations on an epic scale; as an artist, he expands the definition of art to include new forms of social engagement. Ai studied briefly at Parsons School of Design and attended the Art Students League of New York from 1983 to 1986.  Inspired by his time in New York’s East Village, he contributed to the creation of the Beijing East Village, an avant-garde artistic community comprising some of the first Chinese performance artists. He made his own first significant performance work two years later, when he dropped a 2000-year-old Han Dynasty urn. His work has been shown at Munich’s Haus der Kunst, Tate Modern, the 2013 Venice Biennale, and many other institutions worldwide. Good Fences Make Good Neighbors his expansive public art display of sculpted cages, fences, and banners at 300-plus locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens,.was on view from October 2017 to February 2018. Ai Weiwei currently lives in Berlin, where he is the Einstein Visiting Professor at the Berlin University of the Arts.

Firas Kayal is the Senior Policy Advisor at the New York Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). He has worked as a Legal Protection Officer in many countries including Iraq, Yemen, the Gulf Region, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Switzerland. His last position was in UNHCR’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, where he headed the External Relations Unit at Middle East and North Africa Bureau responding to multiple displacement emergencies.


Friday, April 13, 6:00pm


Human Flow

Co-presented with HT2FF

2017, PG-13, 145 minutes; Directed by Ai Weiwei

Followed by a talk by Firas Kayal, Senior Policy Advisor,  United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Office in New York

$20 | $5 for Members, Children, and Students

Friday Nights are made possible, in part, by the generous support of The Corcoran Group, BNB Bank, and Sandy and Stephen Perlbinder. Special thanks to Sofia Spiess.


Inspired by the natural setting and artistic life of Long Island’s East End, the Parrish Art Museum illuminates the creative process and how art and artists transform our experiences and understanding of the world and how we live in it. The Museum fosters connections among individuals, art, and artists through care and interpretation of the collection, presentation of exhibitions, publications, educational initiatives, programs, and artists-in residence. The Parrish is a center for cultural engagement, an inspiration and destination for the region, the nation, and the world.



AAQ Resource / Architects: Stelle Lomont Rouhani Architects 


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