Happy Pride week! While we usually celebrate Pride all month in June, this particular Pride Month has been quite fraught and politically difficult. For the last several weeks, many LGBTQ+ people have postponed their month-long celebrations of Pride to make room for other marginalized voices, namely Black Lives Matter. I think that’s important and I stand by this stance myself. So now it’s time for us to join our voices with the national conversation.
Disclaimer: For this story I am speaking from my own experience as an LGBTQ+ LEGO fan that has risen to a bit of prominence in the LEGO world due to being on LEGO Masters. I don’t claim to speak for the LGBTQ+ community as a whole or even for the whole LGBTQ+ LEGO community. All I know is what I have experienced, heard and observed in my time with this hobby and this is what I share with you now.
Read more about my experience as a LGBTQ LEGO fan
In response to the growing protests about racial inequality centered in the US, LEGO announced that they stand with the black community and will donate $4 million to several organizations working to both support and educate children about racial equality. The donation is one of the largest by a corporation announced so far, similar in scale to the $5 million donation announced by Disney.
LEGO’s support of the Black Lives Matter movement and their sizeable donation is a notable response to the tragic events unfolding throughout the US, especially considering their own flagship store in New York was looted earlier this week. These pictures from Twitter users @aaronwhite and @SteveKornacki show the Flatiron District LEGO Store’s windows smashed and shelves wiped clean, with only a broken Star Destroyer and a few permanent displays remaining.
LEGO’s core values state that the company will strive to “make a positive difference in the lives of children… not because we have to – but because it feels right and because we care.” LEGO has also asked retailers and affiliates to pause advertising a variety of products including City sets featuring police officers and firefighters as well as the new LEGO Architecture White House.
Here at The Brothers Brick, we’ve taken “political” stands on matters of peace and justice for as long as the LEGO building community has created LEGO art that communicates an important message, whether that message was in support of marriage equality way back in 2006 or freedom of discourse in response to the Charlie Hebdo massacre in 2015. Dave Kaleta joins a chorus of people around the world who choose not to remain silent in these excruciating, infuriating times.
From a LEGO build perspective, Dave uses largely disconnected white slopes, tiles, and plates to surround solidly attached black bricks. Dave also leverages the new range of small curved tiles to create the lettering along the bottom of the mosaic. But the build and its techniques are hardly what grab my attention.
A few thoughts on the intersection of LEGO, art, politics, and privilege