News

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.

Interview

This Compilation Shines a Light On East African Underground Music

We talk to a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation from Uganda's Nyege Nyege.

Nyege Nyege, a label in Kampala, Uganda is channelling the confidence brimming over a whole continent. Africa is no longer the future. For dance music, its time is right now.

Music For the Eagles is a compilation released in conjunction with Soundcloud to showcase the best new acts that East Africa has to offer outside the mainstream. A new wave of artists firmly blasting non-conformist energy for you to spasm to. Music that takes you places. Otim Alpha's high BPM wedding frenzy of incessant rasping vocals accompanied by feverous violin will have you clawing the walls to oblivion. Anti Vairas' dancehall from a battleship with super galactic intentions doesn't even break a sweat as it ruins you. FLO's beautiful sirens call, is a skittish and detuned nursery rhyme that hints at a yearning for love but reveals something far more unnerving. Ecko Bazz's tough spiralling vocal over sub-bass and devil trap energy is an anthem that can only be bewailed. And Kidane Fighter's tune is more trance-like prayer. These are only some of the highlights for you to shake it out to.

We got to chat with a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation as they took a break from the studio below.

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