South African Artist Challenges Gun Culture

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South African filmmaker and artist Ralph Ziman, in his series Ghosts, created AK-47s out of beads, and placed them in the handles of Zimbabwean street vendors. Having no direction on how to hold the guns, their choices of poses represents their attitudes toward guns. Some stand triumphantly, holding two guns in the air. Others are more relaxed, in a state of waiting, expecting something to happen. None of them seem weak or uncomfortable. There is power in wielding a gun.

Ziman hyperbolically conveys society’s attitudes toward guns by making the beaded beautiful creations, vibrant with color. They are like worshipped idols. A façade of power, in holding a gun, masks atrocities, like child soldiers and genocide. Ziman now resides in California, but being from Africa, he is especially aware of the consequences of the glorification of guns in African gun culture.

>> Read more about Ralph Ziman’s Ghosts at HuffPost.


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