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The LEGO Group has collaborated with award-winning actor and producer Samira Wiley to celebrate the power of creative self-expression within the LGBTQIA+ community during this year’s Pride. Working closely with LEGO Certified Professional Builders, community member and advocate Samira co-created an epic 41,000 brick self-portrait that brings to life her personality and life experiences in a playful, creative way.

“Celebrating who we are and all the pieces that make you, you, is so important, and as part of the LGBTQIA+ community, I know the value of embracing the opportunity to be proud. It was a joy to create this portrait because I had the chance to do that in a creative and playful way,” commented Samira Wiley. “As an actor, I’m always sitting down and analysing other people’s identities to work out how I make them my own in a role, but I don’t always do that for myself. The process of creating this portrait allowed me to see myself through other people’s eyes and that felt really inspiring and rewarding. Play is an such an important part of creative self-expression – it allows us to explore and share who we are, and to be proud of who we are.”

The giant five-foot-high portrait took 200 hours to build and included three hour-long creative sessions with Samira where she openly shared her stories and anecdotes. The finished work of art combines the pieces of Samira’s life that have helped form who she is today and include personal references to her family, the importance of creative experimentation and two Adinkra symbols that Samira has as tattoos to honour her West African heritage.

The first, Nsoromma, means ‘Child of the heavens’ and marks her deep gratitude to her ancestors. The second, Okodee Mmowere, is the Adinkra symbol for courage and bravery, and has been placed over her heart in the portrait to represent living authentically and being a role model to help others do the same. The rainbow glow surrounding Samira’s face symbolises her personal mission to bring visibility to the marginalised groups she identifies as being part of.

The radiant portrait has been unveiled in the June edition of Rolling Stone magazine to launch Pieces of Me, an open invitation for members and allies of the LGBTQIA+ community to build a self-portrait that captures the pieces of themselves they are most proud of.

Build a picture of you

Pieces of Me is the latest from the LEGO Group as it seeks to create LEGO play experiences that make everyone feel welcome. As well as building Pieces of Me portraits at home, building tables and minifigure personalisation stations can be found in select LEGO stores globally.

The LEGO Group will also be at local Pride events this summer including Munich, Berlin, London and Copenhagen. This year’s activity builds on previous attendance at Pride events in London in 2019, Copenhagen in 2021, and Munich in 2022.

Julia Goldin, Chief Product and Marketing Officer at the LEGO Group said of the campaign: “Pieces of Me is an open invitation for creators to take a moment to celebrate themselves in a playful way. Play and creative self-expression go hand-in-hand and the process of building a self-portrait gives us an opportunity to show the world who we are and celebrate the pieces of ourselves we are most proud of. At the LEGO Group we believe that Everyone is Awesome and are committed to building a more diverse and inclusive world where everyone gets to be themselves and reach their potential.”

Samira’s Pieces of Me portrait will be on display from June 8 to August 23 in the LEGO Masterpiece Gallery at LEGO House in Billund, Denmark – the Home of the Brick.

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