The story behind ARTICLE 22 is one of war and peace. Destruction and reconstruction. Of a sad history turned into a positive future. During the Vietnam conflict, the country of Laos was on the receiving end of a nearly decade-long aerial bombardment intended to halt the spread of communism across Indochina, making it the most heavily bombed country per capita in history. Called “the Secret War,” more than 250 million bombs were dropped on the country from 1964 to 1973. Of the bombs dropped on the country, one-third of the weapons did not detonate. To this day, these unexploded life-threatening weapons litter Lao farms and fields. Because an overwhelming majority of the country’s inhabitants subsist on farming, access to the land is of vital importance. These unexploded bombs create a food security issue and an additional barrier to economic development. In 2009, the non-profit organization PeaceBomb began creating bracelets out of this war debris found in the country’s forests and on farmland. Since then, they’ve expanded to other products, all of which use metal from bombs that fell during the conflict. Developed through a collaboration with the RISE Project, ARTICLE 22 helps support artisan families, a community development fund and clearance of unexploded weapons from Lao land, ensuring a positive future can grow from the soil of an unfortunate past.
from Laos, Laos
Turning bombs into love.