Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Ai Weiwei's 'leg gun' Madness Trending

Dressed in shorts, black socks and a straw hat, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei uploaded a photo of himself on Instagram last week, holding up his leg and aiming it as a rifle. He then accompanied the picture with the words "Beijing Anti-Terrorism Series," which he later explained was a reference to anti-terror campaigns. See More pix After the cut.

Instagram users from around the world then began to follow suit, uploading images of themselves 'brandishing' their 'leg-guns' using the hashtags #endgunviolence #gunleg #gunviolence. Close to 10,000 photos have been shared and Ai himself handpicked some and has been continually promoting them on his account.

What's the message behind the 'leg gun' meme? Ai, who has had a long history of using art as a form of protest, initially did not say. But in an interview with AP on Monday, he remarked that power was being "overused in the name of counter-terrorism". There has been a series of violent attacks and security tensions in China, and three men were sentenced to death on Monday, over a car crash in Beijing's Tiananmen Square last October that left five people dead. Local authorities have increased surveillance and tightened security in China's western Xinjiang province, launching what they call an "anti-terrorism campaign". 
Source: BbcTrending


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