Inviting construction: Primark, Rana Plaza and political LEGO
Cook et al, I
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers
© 2018 Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers).
Reason for embargo
Under embargo until 07 June 2020 in compliance with publisher policy.
Toys protest political corruption in Siberia, critique ISIS worldviews in London and illustrate Greece's financial and migrant crises. Geographers disagree about whether playing with things distracts us from, or helps us to more critically engage with, questions of justice, poverty, exploitation, environment and the commodity. Art activists in the academy say that working in creative ways can enliven and enhance our practices of research, publication and impact. Drawing together these debates about art, activism and geography, this paper asks what can be learned from recreating in LEGO and posting online scenes from the tense and changing socio‐economic relationships between investigative journalists, corporate executives and garment workers making clothes for a high street fashion retailer Primark before, during and after the catastrophic Rana Plaza garment complex collapse in April 2013. It also experiments with the composition of academic outputs, in the hope that that its arguments leap up from the page. And it finishes by inviting readers to try this approach for themselves.
The University of Exeter International Office funded our work.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Wiley via the DOI in this record.
Published online 07 June 2018.