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Reclaimed AK-47 Gunmetal Jewelry To Help Disarm DRC


Fonderie 47 is an interesting experiment, a project designed to help disarm the DRC by selling high-end jewelry crafted from reclaimed AK-47 gunmetal. Featured in today's New York Times Style Section, Fonderie 47's unique approach was inspired by a 2008 trip to Kenya during which the two founders, John Zapolski and Peter Thum, were struck by the number of AK-47's they encountered.  The Small Arms Survey reports and data claims there are upwards of 20 million AK-47's in Africa today.  Thum explains:

“We saw the AK-47 as an opportunity because it’s such a successful design,” he said. “It’s something that’s globally recognizable. What better way to turn things around than with this object, which represents so many things ugly, and turn it into something beautiful?”

Their jewelry is hand crafted from the metal - the receivers, barrels and other steel components - of AK-47's from the DRC which were confiscated by the government.  It's melted down and then reshaped, with gold added, into beautiful jewelry such as rings, earrings and cufflinks, by the jewelers Philip Crangi and Roland Iten.

Sales fund weapons destruction programs operated by nongovernmental organizations which help disarm the DRC, through the nonprofit arm of the project, Fonderie 47 Foundation. Fonderie 47 has demolished around 6,000 assault rifles so far.  We're down with this mission for sure - unfortunately with rings starting at $25,600 we're gonna have to save our allowance for at least a few weeks before we can cop.

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Photo by Ian Dickson/Redferns (via Getty Images)

New Fela Kuti Reissues & Box Set Are Coming This Year

Partisan Records has shared initial news of upcoming Fela 50th anniversary reissues and a new box set on the way.

Fela Kuti fans have a lot to look forward to this year as Partisan Records (home to Fela's catalog) has announced plans to release special reissues of two 1971 albums: London Scene and Live! With Ginger Baker, the classic album in which Fela and his band Africa '70 where joined by the Cream drummer.

The label has also said they plan to release the fifth installment in their ongoing Fela vinyl reissue box set series, which are handpicked by notable names in the music world. Previous volumes have been curated by Erykah Badu, Questlove, and Brian Eno.

Partisan has also shared that they will also be launching a scholarship program at Fela's alma mater, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, in London this year. The label will be sharing more information on all of that exciting Fela Kuti 2021 news soon, so keep and eye out.

In the meantime, Fela Kuti is currently leading the fan vote for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. You can head here to cast a daily ballot for the afrobeat legend. Voting is capped at one ballot per day.

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