Throne of Weapons

Leafing through the shoe box collection of postcards revealed this card a good friend sent me a decade or so ago. It’s rather astounding. Most probably a very well known object: a chair made out of decommissioned weapons.

Throne of Weapons
Kester (Cristóvão Estavão Canhavato), Throne of Weapons 2001

The work was purchased by the British Museum in 2002. The publication produced by the museum for a tour of the sculpture notes how the weapons were initially recovered through the ‘Transforming Arms into Tools‘ program. The program was founded in 1995 to give people a chance to improve their lives after a lengthy civil war.

Throne of Weapons credit
Text from back of postcard.

Although the civil war ended more than 20 years ago, the practice of using decommissioned weapons for art projects is ongoing. Reports for CNN’s Inside Africa program and Artnet News appearing in early 2015 focus on the art of Gonçalo Mabunda. The works chosen to illustrate these news releases date from 2011 and 2013.


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