Arms trade campaign recreates Banksy artworks
Mon, 16 Jul 2012 2:55p.m.
By 3 News online staff
A photographer has recreated two of guerrilla artist Banksy's most famous paintings, to draw attention to a campaign to regulate international arms trading.
Nick Stern, who has worked in countries throughout Africa, Asia and Europe as well as the US, says the Oxfam-led campaign will "save thousands from the horrors of armed violence and conflict".
“As a photographer I've seen the misery armed conflict causes, in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe," he says.
"War is no longer the preserve of well trained, tactical military personnel; it has spread into every area of society. The people taking up arms are farmers, engineers, builders and students, and lives are being blighted or ended."
One of the images shows John Travolta and Samuel L Jackson in an iconic scene from Pulp Fiction, except their guns have been replaced with bananas. The original first appeared around a decade ago on the side of an electricity substation in central London. It was painted over in 2007 by Transport for London, who considered it "graffiti" – despite its estimated £300,000 value.
Oxfam says the image was chosen because there are more international regulations on trading bananas than guns.
“The unregulated international arms trade is a dangerous business, and for too long the steady flow of arms around the world has been largely ignored," says Oxfam's Anna Macdonald.
"The irresponsible arms trade fuels serious human rights abuses, armed violence, poverty and conflict around the world. This could change with a comprehensive, robust treaty, a bulletproof arms trade treaty.”
The second photo is a recreation of a Banksy painting of a child soldier that appeared on a shop in Los Angeles, chosen to highlight the hundreds of thousands of children drafted into armies around the world.
In both the painting and the photo, the bullets are replaced with crayons.
Oxfam's report on the international arms trade can be read here (PDF).
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