The recent tragedy in Colorado
has spurred a fiery debate around gun control
and public safety. But, instead of engaging in a battle of words, some proponents of placing restrictions on the availability of arms are making statements through art and design. From tanks to rifles, military grade weapons are being repurposed to raise anti-violence awareness and spread messages of peace.
Weapon of Mass Instruction:
The 1979 Ford Falcon, once a popular automobile among members of the Argentine armed forces who converted them into tanks, has been reimagined as a vehicle of literacy. Argentinean artist Raul Lemesoff transformed the former military transport into what he calls “Arma De Instruccion Masiva
,” or “Weapon of Mass Instruction,” and now uses it to deliver thousands of free books in Buenos Aires. Pedestrians can flag down Lemesoff as he rolls through the city and its surrounding rural area to pick out a good read from his library, which typically consists of approximately 900 donated books
at any time. Next on his tour of education are Bolivia and Peru
Attainable, sturdy, and relatively cheap, millions of illegal AK-47 rifles plague the war-ravaged continent of Africa. Fonderie 47
, however, has adopted a mission to eradicate the devastation caused by such firearms by transforming government-confiscated AK-47s from the Democratic Republic of Congo into statement-making luxury jewelry. For each item purchased, the buyer is informed of how many guns were eliminated to craft it. (A gold ring is derived from 75 destroyed rifles.) All profits benefit NGOs
such as the Mines Advisory Group
, an organization that destroys weapons in conflict-affected nations and establishes safe access to water sources, agricultural land, medical facilities, and education centers.