Category: toys

Political LEGO: an interview with Legofesto

Sri Lanka: Bombing a refugee camp 4

Sri Lanka: Bombing a refugee camp 4 (Legofesto 2009).

We re-create scenes from the trade justice documentaries, art and activist work in LEGO. We photograph them, put them online and embed them on our site’s pages. You can see what we’ve done here. This work was inspired by LEGO scenes from the ‘War on Terror’ produced by a person calling herself Legofesto. We read interviews with and articles about her that were published in 2009, but hadn’t found anything since. This year, after teaching Political LEGO on the MRes Critical Human Geographies at Exeter University, one student – Julia Zielke – emailed Legofesto to interview her for an essay. What questions hadn’t been asked in those 2009 pieces? What had Legofesto been doing since then? Can we expect any new Legofesto work? This is what she said… Continue reading

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Everything is (not) awesome: Greenpeace, Shell & Lego activism.

Greenpeace & Lego

Greenpeace want Lego to end its links with Shell, and are currently campaigning through the medium of imaginative Lego re-creation. This video is one of a number of examples, whose aim is to encourage people to sign this petition. In the wake of the hugely successful Lego Movie (whose stars make a cameo appearance) this campaign is becoming perhaps the most lavish and high-profile example of Lego activism to date.

followthethings.com & Lego

On a much smaller budget, we’ve been making, photographing and posting online re-creations in Lego of (imagined) scenes from trade justice films, art and activism for a while now. See, for example, our recreations from and around the BBC Panorama documentary ‘Primark on the rack’. Continue reading

Why Eeva Legoed the kidnapping of Ronald McDonald

#followtheteachers blog post No.5

Continue reading

Flo the Cat: shopping & sharing

How can we use images to tell the stories we want to tell – an avoid repeating the ones we don’t? (Platform 2012).

Flo the cat nunzilla

We were very happy to see that Set 11 of Lego’s Minifigures included a new Grandma figure with a cat and shopping bag. We purchased our Grandma at the Thomas Moore store in Exeter, where staff can tell you what’s in each packet just by feeling it.

flo th ecat nunzilla 2

We know that photos of Cats and Lego are among the most shared on social media. We want more people to know about our site and what it’s all about. ‘Flo the Cat’ is helping us to do this.

These are the first ‘What the cat brought home’ photos that we added to Flo’s flickr set today. They point towards our page on Anna Chen’s 2010 Radio 4 investigation China, Britain and the Nunzilla Conundrum. Let us know what you think and, maybe, buy yourself a cat and bag and take some other ‘Flo the cat’ photos for us to publish.

If you haven’t seen Nunzilla wound up and in action, watch this short video:

And here’s what this radio show did with her:

“[The Nunzilla Conundrum] takes the example of British designed, Chinese-made ironic novelty gifts … and expands it into an illuminating discussion of the cultural differences between the two nations, with Chinese production line workers hard-pressed to describe what it is they’re making while British designers are oh-so keen to deconstruct the joke” (Naughton 2010, np).

See our page for more.

Celebrating the patenting of Lego

Yes. A story appeared in Gizmodo today saying that, 55 years ago, Lego bricks were first patented. We are interested not only in their origins, but also in their powers…

For the most part, Lego is one of the great levelers in the toy world: kids love it, adults get excited about it, and you can build practically anything you like out of it. While most wholesome family fun turns out boring or desperate, Lego transcends age and gender and makes everyone want to play.

Here at followthethings.com, we use Lego for our own means,re-creating scenes from ‘follow the things’ examples showcased on our site, posting them on Flickr and hoping that they will generate interest in our site. See a sample from our Flickr set in the right hand column of our blog.

What the Gizmodo article includes is one of Lego’s earliest commercials, in German, illustrating its playful, leveling effects… Enjoy!

New examples for followthethings.com now being researched

Students taking Ian Cook’s ‘Geographies of material culture’ module are now researching the following examples to produce new ‘compilation pages’ for publication on followthethings.com.

Help with our research?

If you know of any good discussions, interviews, videos and any related information on any of the sources below, please comment on this post. Thanks…

Grocery dept.

Starbucks Coffee, iPhones and tents: Louise Mensch on Occupy London  (BBCTV Have I Got News For You, 26 October 2011: watch here).

Various food: Food Inc documentary (2009: watch trailer).

Hamburber: McLibel film (2005: watch trailer).

Fashion dept.

Nike training shoes: Jonah Perretti’s Nike ID emails (2001: read emails).

Various clothing: ‘Primark: on the rack’ BBCTV Panorama documentary (2008: doc webpage).

Jeans: China blue documentary (2005: watch trailer).

Various clothing: Kelsey Timmerman’s Where am I wearing? book (2008: watch trailer).

Electrical dept.

iPhone: The agony and the ecstasy of Steve Jobs, Mike Daisey monologue (2011: watch interview)

Various electricals: Maquilapolis documentary (2006: watch trailer).

iPhone: PhoneStory app (2011: watch review/demo).

Gifts dept.

Various toys: Santa’s workshop: inside China’s slave labor toy factories documentary (2006? watch whole film).