My Instagram feed has been flooded lately by ridiculous photos from Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. Known for his bold use of social media to speak on issues in his country and around the world, Ai Weiwei has kickstarted a new trend by encouraging people to take pictures of themselves holding their leg as if it was a gun.
The origin of the leg gun comes from a Communist-era ballet entitled Red Detachment of Women. Below is the picture Ai Weiwei posted as reference.
Aside from the funny pictures, what political undertones does the leg gun have? Some view it as a commentary on the recent 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, an event which is still largely swept under the rug by the Chinese government. It could also transcend beyond just the Tiananmen incident and be a note on the amount of gun violence around the world. From the frequent school shootings in the US to the protests against the World Cup in Brazil.
Ai Weiwei has dedicated his Instagram account to reposting leg guns these past few days, turning his page into a interactive art piece. Not sure when this meme will die out, but for more pictures follow him @aiww. Pick up your legs, not guns.