Workparty: The Little People
kinder toys, plasticine, cardboard, lights; exhibited in Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2013, curated by Ami Barak; version 2 exhibited as part of Pop Up Downtown, Regina, 2016
In 2011, in Barnaul, Russian activists unhappy with the corruption in a recent election were banned from organizing a public protest. In response they substituted kinder toys (a plastic toy that comes inside a chocolate egg) for themselves and staged a demonstration. Unfortunately the kinder toy protest was also banned by authorities who stated that inanimate playthings can’t assemble for public political gatherings. In honour of these imaginative activists Workparty staged a Kinder Toy protest inside Toronto City Hall (a site legally off-limits to human protesters), highlighting issues that matter to the Toronto public.
In 2016 the installation was reimagined for Pop Up Downtown in Regina. The collective worked with indigenous activists who had set camp on the grounds of the Indian Affairs Building in downtown Regina. The messages on the signs were written by the protesters.