Selfie Trends: The Leg-gun by Chinese Artist and Activist Ai Weiwei. Using A Leg As a Gun Now The Hottest Trending Selfie.
The word ?selfie? is already a part of today’s internet connected world, and has brought a lot of fun, and also annoyance, to many people. But, it does not mean that it will remain a trivial tool of ?self-gratification?, as long as there are people like Ai Weiwei around. The celebrated activist and artist has transformed this supposed ?inconsequential? act, into not only an art form, but also, a political message, with the ?Leg-gun?.
The Leg-gun is the current and hottest selfie trend to dominate the social network arena. The selfie trend was started by Ai Weiwei, a Chinese activist and artist, by posting a picture of himself holding his own leg, and aiming it like a gun.
This selfie trend, just like so many others before it, will eventually fade and go away, but very few selfies can boast of possessing such an impressive ?lineage? as the Leg-gun. Ai Weiwei is described by Wikipedia as ?a Chinese contemporary artist, active in sculpture, installation, architecture, curating, photography, film, and social, political and cultural criticism. Ai collaborated with Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron as the artistic consultant on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics. As a political activist, he has been highly and openly critical of the Chinese Government’s stance on democracy and human rights. He has investigated government corruption and cover-ups. In 2011, following his arrest, he was held for 81 days without any official charges being filed.?
Several days ago, Ai Weiwei posted a photo of his Leg-gun selfie on his Instagram account. In the selfie, he was only wearing shorts, a straw hat and socks, while using his leg like a firearm.
Immediately, his account was flooded with Leg-gun selfies of people from all over the globe holding the same Leg-gun pose (for the link to his Instagram account, scroll down to the end of this article, and click on the ?Image Source?).
The selfies later on, took an activist theme, when people started tagging their selfies with the hashtag #endgunviolence . It was noted, in the web articles that picked up this trend, that this tag was not started by Ai Weiwei.
Whether Ai Weiwei intended the selfie to be a political or social statement, only he can say (and he’s not talking). It has been mentioned though that at the same time that he posted the Leg-gun selfie, he also posted a photo taken from the ?Red Detachment of Women?, a Chinese ballet production. This opera / ballet was part of the 8 model operas used during the Cultural Revolution of the 60’s and 70’s, to reform the cultural stage in China.
No one is surprised however, if the Leg-gun was indeed meant to be a statement against gun violence, as Ai Weiwei is known for using social media networks to voice his opinions on the actions of the Chinese government.
Mainstream media, who picked up the story, pointed out that certain captions in the images translated to the words ? Beijing anti-terrorism series?, and is said to possibly refer to the student protests in Tiananmen Square, which was recently being remembered on the occasion of its 25th Anniversary.
The Chinese artist and activist is not revealing any clarification on the selfie, and he is letting people interpret his photo and their own selfies by themselves.
Whatever the message may be, this Leg-gun selfie trend is fueling a global conversation on violence, guns, oppression, art and freedom, that may raise the status of the selfie into a more meaningful social media practice, in the days, months, and years to come.
For more features on selfies, do read our previous reports:
Image Source: Instagram – aiww