Talk: keeping conversations going with Political LEGO

At the end of 2015, followthethings.com CEO Ian Cook gave a talk explaining why we re-create scenes described on our website it LEGO, what our shoppers like about them, and what they add to our scholar-activist work. That talk was filmed and you can watch it below. He talked through a series of re-creations made in response to the controversy provoked by a TV documentary film called ‘Primark on the rack’ that was first broadcast 2008, and re-energised by Primark’s response to the Rana Plaza collapse in 2013. It draws upon the work of Political LEGO artists like legofesto, whose conversation with Julia Zielke we published a few months ago. Ian’s talk outlines the argument being made in an academic paper he’s currently writing. Think of this talk as its Trailer….

NB This talk contains quotations from other sources most of which aren’t named, but will be in the finished paper. To get a sense of the key texts, check out the following:

Baichtal J and Meno J 2011 The cult of LEGO San Francisco, No Starch

Bartneck C, Obaid M and Zawieska K 2013 Agents with faces. What can we learn from LEGO mini figures. Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Human-Agent Interaction, Sapporo

Bramadi L 2013 Legoramart: well played, live art. Los Angeles: Muttpop

Carling A 2009 Throwing plastic bricks at torturers because words bounce off (http://www.andycarling.com/2009/05/throwing-plastic-bricks-at-torturers-because-words-bounce-off/) Accessed 29 May 2015

Christie-Miller J nd. Peer review (http://www.followthethings.com/peerreview.shtml) Accessed 18 October 2015

Cook I and Tolia-Kelly D 2010 Material geographies. in Hicks D and Beaudry M eds Oxford handbook of material culture studies. Oxford, Oxford University Press 99-122

Hockenberry M 2013 Follow the things (http://supplystudies.com/2013/07/29/follow-the-things/) Accessed 29 June 2015

Mackey R 2009 Visualizing torture, with Lego (http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/05/visualizing-torture-with-lego/?hp&_r=0) Accessed 29 May 2015

Tolia-Kelly D 2013 The geographies of cultural geography III: material geographies, vibrant matters and risking surface geographies. Progress in human geography 37(1) 153-160

Wolf M ed (2014) Lego Studies: examining the building blocks of a transmedia phenomenon. London, Routledge

Zielke J 2015 Political LEGO; an interview with Legofesto (https://followtheblog.org/2015/05/29/political-lego-an-interview-with-legofesto/) Accessed 7 July 2015

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