I love this picture. In today’s world that is filled with so much ugliness, the idea of flowers exploding in the air is a welcome site. I was drawn into the Article22 booth at a recent trade show both by this image and by this spoon that was at the front of the display that said “this is not a spoon”. As I was picking the spoon up and not understanding how it could be so light, someone approached me and said “it was a bomb”. Excuse me, but what did you just say? “A bomb.” I needed to hear the story.
Article22 is a designer brand of hand crafted jewelry and home accessories that tells real stories of transformation of negative into positive. The first collection, Peacebomb, is jewelry that has been up cycled by artisans in Laos. It is made made from detonated bombs and other scrap aluminum and finished with precious metals and stones. The bombs were dropped on Laos by the U.s. during the Viet Nam war; an average of one bomb-load every eight minutes, 24 hours a day, for nine years, approximately 250 million bombs. Laos was left with 80 million unexploded bombs contaminating the land. Less than 1%, around 500,000, of the bombs have been cleared. A portion of the sales proceeds from the Peacebomb collection help fund the clearance of some of these unexploded bombs.
Earlier this month, Article22 was recognized by Prince Harry at Kensington Palace as he paid homage to the inspirational legacy of his mother 20 years after both her death and historic minefield walk which brought to life the horror still facing communities ravaged by war.
2017 also marks the signing and ratification of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Treaty, and MAG’s (the Mine Advisory Group) Nobel Peace Prize award. ARTICLE22 has worked with MAG since 2010 and has donated funds to help clear over 150,000 square meters of bomb littered land in Laos. This includes the removal of 400 unexploded bombs from the land of one artisan family in Naphia Village where the jewelry is produced.
And to think it all started with a spoon.