Mozambique guns turned into art – 2002

[Exposição em Londres. Notícia antiga, tirada destes blogs. Curiosa a venda para o Imperial War Museum.]

Turning AK-47 into art

January 17, 2002, BBC

Mais images here / imagens aqui (BBC)
Guns used in Mozambique’s civil war have been turned into sculptures that are going on display in a London gallery.

Kalashnikovs, bazookas and pistols have been transformed from weapons of death into works of art that take the shapes of dancing figures, birds and musical instruments.

The sculptures use weapons gathered as part of a community aid scheme after the country’s civil war ended in 1992.

Guns were swapped for objects such as ploughs, bicycles and sewing machines – and some have ended up in the exhibition at London’s Oxo Tower gallery, which starts on Friday.

Artist Humberto Delgado said: “I was transforming weapons – with the knowledge of what they were used for – into something totally different, with a positive significance.

“Making something out of these materials was like opening a flower.”

Another artist, Goncalo Mabunda, whose uncle died in the 16-year war, has created pieces like a dancer moulded from a decommissioned AK-47.

The sculptures were created with guns from a community project

The sculptures were created with guns from a community project

“This is a special AK-47, it killed a lot of people in Mozambique,” he said.

“It’s a dangerous weapon. But now I have tried to transform this into things for people to enjoy, not for feeling bad.”

Four pieces have already been sold for between £500 to £1,000 each to the Imperial War Museum, the Leeds Armoury and the Commonwealth Institute.

The show’s curator, Julie Fairrie, said the exhibition was supporting a group of artists who are creating “incredible work”, but was also serving a more important purpose.

“It is supporting a project which takes the arms out of the hands of Mozambicans on the street and gets them into a compound where they are cut up and destroyed,” she said.


There were seven million guns in the country at the end of the war, according to Christian Aid, who co-ordinate the Transforming Arms Into Ploughshares project that let local people turn in guns in exchange for more useful items.

“In the villages I’ve seen, where people have handed guns in, people suddenly have the means to work,” said Christian Aid’s Dominic Nutt.

Up to a million Mozambicans died from fighting and famine in a war that ruined the economy and much of the countryside between 1977 and 1992.

Proceeds from the sales of the sculptures will be split between the artists, Christian Aid and the Christian Council of Mozambique.


2 Responses to “Mozambique guns turned into art – 2002”

  1. artist salum kambi Says:

    we meet at roma 2004

  2. artist salum kambi Says:

    at african festival please write to me mabunda

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