Obama talks about his ‘selfie ‘captivity’, doesn’t want more
While speaking in an opening statement for the Obama Foundation Summit, the former President had one request for attendees: to refrain from asking for selfies.
During the civic leadership conference in Chicago, Illinois, Obama spoke on the light matter for a second time this year, and said: “One of the weird things about becoming president is I found that people were no longer looking me in the eye and shaking my hand.”
He added Tuesday that the discussion “may seem trivial, but it’s not,” just months after mentioning during a keynote speech in the spring that he had grown tired of countless ungenuine interactions.
After addressing more pressing issues like climate change and food waste at the conference – Obama joked that, since the end of his term, he’s been asked to take “selfies every two steps” he walks when out in public.
He joked further: “Now I’m only captive to selfies… which is almost as bad.”
On Wednesday, the final day of the civic leader conference, Michelle Obama also discussed plans for the soon-to-be constructed Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park.
The former First Lady, who grew up in Chicago, said the library will be a sanctuary where “art, music and creativity” are openly celebrated, according to the Chicago Tribune.
She spoke further about her humble upbringing in the Windy City – where artistic values played an important role in her everyday life.
“When you think about how little public art there is on the South Side… (that) is one of the things we hope to do with the Obama Presidential Center,” she said during the speech.
“There need to be places for public art outside. Just like downtown. Just like Picasso. Just like The Bean. There’s nothing.
“Those pieces in communities are few and far in between. And they become the gathering places for a community, not just a place to see beauty and possibility.”
Speakers came forward to discuss other positive changes that are being put into action while at the conference – which is said to be the “foundation’s largest programme of the year,” according to the Tribune.
Other notable people in attendance at the meeting included Prince Harry and Chance the Rapper.