Ai Weiwei on Humanity in Conversation with Ian Buruma

Chicago Humanities Festival

Ai Weiwei is one of the world’s most celebrated artists. Famous for his work across multiple mediums (sculpture, installation, photography, performance, and architecture), he is equally recognized as one of today’s most important activists—a role launched by his persecution at the hands of the Chinese government. Ai uses epically-proportioned works of art and endless selfies to call attention —in bold, graphic terms—to attacks on democracy, free speech, human rights abuses and more recently, the plight of refugees. Ai comes to Chicago (a “sanctuary city” )to discuss his work documenting the global refugee crisis as elucidated in his new book Humanity and award-winning documentary Human Flow. New York Review of Books editor Ian Buruma joins Ai for what’s sure to be an unforgettable conversation about the vulnerability of humankind and the role of art in providing a voice and face for the voiceless.

Ticket purchase includes a copy of Humanity. An option for 1 book + 2 tickets is available through the Chicago Humanities Festival box office at (312) 605-8444.

This event will feature open captions to increase access to program content.

The annual Richard Gray Visual Art Series recognizes a significant gift from founding CHF board member and distinguished art dealer Richard Gray. Presented in partnership with The New York Review of Books.

Presenters:

Ai Weiwei is one of the world’s most influential and inspiring figures. His work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Venice Biennale, the Guangzhou Triennial, Tate Modern, and the Smithsonian, among many other major international venues.

Ian Buruma is editor of The New York Review of Books. His previous books include Their Promised Land, Year Zero, The China Lover, Murder in Amsterdam, Occidentalism, God’s Dust, Behind the Mask, The Wages of Guilt, Bad Elements, and Taming the Gods. He has won numerous awards, including the 2015 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel award for the art of the essay for Theater of Cruelty and the LA Times Book Prize for Murder in Amsterdam. Buruma has also received the Shorenstein Journalism Award and the international Erasmus Prize.