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Fans Take to Social Media to Support Ai Weiwei After Lego Refuse

The Independent
I have a very hard time getting angry at Lego. It was such an intrinsic part of my childhood (and I'll make damn sure it is for my kids as well, once the cloning machine is finished) and it's simply the best toy there ever was or will be. Sadly, they have made some pretty poor business choices in recent years. Their partnership with Shell attracted massive criticism and even an appeal from Greenpeace, but luckily in that case they actually listened to what people were saying and broke ties, no such luck here.

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has courted massive amounts of controversy, and even served time in prison for his provocative artwork, and he is widely regarded as something of a political crusader. His most recent project involves using Lego for an exhibition on free speech in Australia. It's the second time he's used Lego for a project, the first was a series of mosaics of 'prisoners of conscience' in Alcatraz. The problem this time is, when he appealed to the company for a bulk supply of bricks to make the installation, they said no. The reason they cited was that they can't advocate the use of Lego for political material.
Weiwei has referred to the decision as a form of discriminating censorship, particularly on his social media pages, and it's attracted a lot of attention. Evidently, a lot of people agree that he has been treated unfairly, with some pointing out that, ironically, Lego refusing to help him is in and of itself a politically motivated act. Others have also mentioned that Lego is currently working on opening a new Legoland in Shanghai. More to the point, they've also started sending him their own Lego to support the project.
A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on
Weiwei has since started using his Facebook and Twitter profiles to set up drop-off and pick-up times and locations for the Lego, like some kind of crazy brick baron. At the moment, they've all been parked cars, with the sunroof left open so that people can drop the Lego inside and Weiwei can return later to pick them up. He's planning to continue adding drop points until he has enough to complete the project, and perhaps also build a gigantic middle finger to leave outside Lego's headquarters.



Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF


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Fans Take to Social Media to Support Ai Weiwei After Lego Refuse Reviewed by Callum Davies on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 Rating: 5

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