This week I’m preparing my efforts for International Lego Classicism Day 2022, which as usual will be on 20th February. I’ve been standing on Lego pieces a lot (I can confirm that it still hurts), and going into neighbours’ houses to rummage through their Lego boxes (do you have any idea how hard it is to find curved pieces?), and sending weird queries to complete strangers.
All pretty normal for me.
This will be the fourth year I’ve taken part. Last year I was part of the Lego Classicist Pantheon, creating official content for the day. Because of travel restrictions and closures, I went local, and did a whole story (in verse, of course!) based on the history of the Arbeia Fort excavations.
(Why yes you can read it: how kind of you to ask!)
I was rather proud of my 19th century antiquarian minifigures, based on photos from the time. Here’s the Reverend John Collingwood Bruce…
That story was a lot of fun to research, and led to some really interesting rummages through the local history records in South Shields library (and incidentally led me to find this brilliant Geordie poem) – but more on that another time.
The year before that, I went down another research rabbit-hole, when I got to re-tell the fantastic (imaginary) story of Princess Claudia of Britain, who very nearly ruled the world at the side of Nero, before choosing a life of domestic chores in Wales (don’t ask!). It was all very dramatic…
I also got to take the Lego Classicist himself around Arbeia (in Lego form, of course)…
The year before that, I was back at Arbeia, telling the back-story of Barates and Regina from South Shields. There were pirates and gods and villains, and a great deal of sand (really – I’m still picking sand out of my Lego box, three years on).
I completely forgot until I was looking through my files for photographs that I once put together a video trailer for this. I’ve been laughing at myself for the last 10 minutes. Enjoy!
This year’s project will also be local, but not focused on South Shields this time. I haven’t quite got it figured out yet, but it will involve both gods and MPs, and will require me to look like an idiot in the middle of a housing estate.
I really love Classics sometimes.
So do join in the fun this year, with your family or your students or just by yourself! Make something ancient-world-themed out of Lego, or take a Lego minifigure somewhere classical and photograph it. Post your picture on social media on 20th Feb using the hashtags #ILCD2022 and #InternationalLegoClassicismDay2022 – or send it to me and I’ll post it on your behalf. People all around the world will be doing the same, and you can follow the hashtags on the day for more – and I’ll provide a round-up of the best bits here, too.
If you want to read more about it and how to join in, check out the ILCD2022 page on the Lego Classicists Family website. And here’s an interview with the event’s creator, Liam Jensen, from last year’s celebrations.