Assisted Riikka Kuoppala with her Vegan & Legal service yesterday. I offered mineral waters and chatted people up as her assistant. We worked in the Dallapé park and at Harjutori. I had fun and got an insight to Kuoppala’s project. I think, as an artwork Vegan & Legal is great for illustrating the technical and esthetic framework law is embedded to. The default look of law is gray and masculine.
Witnessing Riikka talk about law in a public park, wearing plain clothes and offering legal guidance, while serving kombucha felt oddly disturbing. This is because I’m not used to see law discussed in a comfortable setting and I’m not used to sympathize with people who work with it. All my dealings with law have been oppressive and violently bureaucratic. I hate everything about it, from the architecture of courts, all the way down to the the ugly sandwiches they serve in cafeterias.
On a practical level it was heart-warming to see Riikka offer legal guidance for free. Some had reserved a session and send her detailed questions to look up in advance. I think Vegan & Legal succeeds in making law more accessible and I hope this will encourage people working with law to work more publicly in the future.