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Art that communicates, prevents, and donates

An art project to create awareness about the Burundi Civil war; to destroy weapons used in conflicts; to donate to communities still suffering from this conflict.

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Written by DeletedUser

Symbiosis is an art project by Peter Zizka and Matthias Rettner. 
The project consisted in the recollection of hundreds of weapons used during the Hutu-Tutsi conflict in Burundi. The weapons where camouflaged in white, and guns of opposing tribes were connected at their ends in a new symbiosis, making them obsolete.
The installation doesn't only hold a strong aesthetic value, opposed to the terrible truth that underlies it, creating a strong communication; it also brings awareness about the conflict that happened in Burundi, that still bares the scars of the civil war, and has seen less mediatic spread compared to neighboring Rwanda. 
As well the project is financed and supported by organizations such as Unicef and Caritas international, that give back part (I included "part" for I could not find exact information about how much or if all the gainings went in to donations) of the gainings of the exhibitions to the communities in Burundi.  

I find this project interesting and relevant to the challenge on various different levels:
-Art can be a mean of communication and sensibilisation of ongoing conflicts;
-The cultural value can be supported by real action (in this case, weapon destruction and donations)
-Avoiding guns arriving in conflict areas can help the violence decrease drastically. (of course guns are not the only means, as the khmer rouge horribly proved in cambogia, sparing bullets, and killing their "dissidents" by beating them to death, but they weapons definitely make violence increase exponentially).

I had the chance to meet Zizka personally... maybe I could get him to participate in the challenge... he would have a very interesting point of view and insight! Fingers crossed!

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Photo of Stephan Kardos

Hi Anouk,

thats really a nice inspiration. Especially when I saw the image you picked (2 white guns) I noticed some strong connection to one of my inspirations: "given the opportunity" where I think about giving perpetrators a real chance and alternative to change their mindset and harmful behaviour. One of the examples I give is a gun buyback program that I wanted to add to your reflections.