Swedish Muhammad cartoonist Lars Vilks is famous for his Roundabout dog: the Islamic prophet depicted with a dog body. The Danish counter-jihad blogger and founder of Free Speech Europe, Hans Erling Jensen, and Vilks have started the performance “The Roundabout Dog TOUR”, in which a plywood model of Muhammad with a dog body is touring several countries to promote free speech.
The tour started April 1st and is planned to continue until September 30th. See pictures and follow the tour updates on en.freespeech.nu. It is also possible to support Free Speech Europe and the tour by buying copies of four beautiful Vilks paintings depicting Muhammad as a dog on a table, as a dog on a bed with a naked lady, on a t-shirt on a lady and his chopped off head in the hand of what looks like a androgyn version of the Goddess of Justice. From Dispatch International, “Roundabout dogs will be barking for free speech” (login needed):
Come April 1st, the Roundabout Dog starts touring Europe. Based on a design by the Swedish artist Lars Vilks, the organization Freespeech Europe has build plywood models of the dog, which will pay surprise visits to a variety of European cities.
“Due to security concerns, we cannot disclose our tour plan, but the Roundabout Dog was always about surprise, so we will continue in that spirit,” says Hans Erling Jensen, the initiator of the project.
The Roundabout Dog was a form of street art that appeared in Sweden during the year 2006. It started with the art installation Cirkulation, placed in the NygÃ¥rd roundabout in LinkÃ¶ping, Sweden, a white dog staring at a hula hoop nine meters tall. When someone sawed the head off the dog, the artist Stina Opitz was given the task of creating a new dog, this time made out of metal.
It is not really known why the Swedes then started to mass manufacture roundabout dogs, to clandestinely place them in all kinds of traffic circles. It became a moderate-sized public movement during the next few years.
Then, when Lars Vilks made a drawing of a roundabout dog with the head of the Islamic prophet Mohammed, the idea went down the drain and the roundabout dogs died out. Death threats were raining on Vilks, who nowadays lives with round-the-clock bodyguards. …
“We plan to visit seven countries: Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland. It is our hope, of course, to start discussions about freedom of speech. Do we Europeans really want the artists to continue their self-censorship, or do we want a society where everything can be criticized and made fun of?”