Cycling a Protest Walk
When Ai Wei Wei partnered with Anish Kapoor to perform a protest walk to the Olympic Village in London – to highlight the plight of Syrian refugees – I tagged along on my bike. It was a protest walk but I chose to cycle alongside; I had nothing against refugees on the whole but I thought it best not to pledge allegiance until I had at least thought through some of the complex issues involved
And thus, I hedged my bets by cycling the protest walk; sometimes alongside but, more often than not, either ahead of the walk or behind it. If I cycled alongside, I might have been considered a sympathiser, or even a collaborator, but at a distance, I was merely an impartial observer. Cycling had further benefits – at one point I even stopped off at a roadside restaurant, had a quick lunch whilst the walk walked past. Yes, I felt a tad guilty that those who were participating in the walk seemed to be foregoing their lunch; they were, it seemed, focused on a higher cause – the refugee cause.
I was focused on the cause of grabbing some lunch, as I was hungry. They were walking and I was cycling after all, so I had some time on them – I ate, trying not to let the thought of starving refugees ruin my lunch. I did not even have to rush – having eaten, I simply jumped back on my bike and easily caught up with the walk.
And when the walk culminated at Anish Kapoor’s Orbit sculpture at the Olympic park, there was a veritable orgy of publicity ...
The page you have requested is restricted to subscribers only. Please enter your username and password and click on 'Continue'.
If you have forgotten your username and password, please enter the email address you used when you joined. Your login
details will then be emailed to the address specified.
If you are already a member and have not received your login details, please email us,
including your name and address, and we will supply you with details of how to access the archived material.
If you are not a member and would like to enjoy the growing online archive of Stand Magazine
, containing poems, articles, prose and reviews,
why not subscribe
to the website today?