Article 22 X Bye Bye Rascal
Laos is one of the most heavily bombarded countries per capita in the world. The small island fell prey to the geo political power struggle that followed WW2, becoming part of a secret war that ran alongside Vietnam. Between 1964 and 1973, the US carried out 580,000 bombing missions that unleashed over 270 million cluster bombs, 60 million more than what was dropped in Iraq in 1991, 1998 and 2006 combined. Of these, 80,000 bombs were left undetonated in the land, rehashing the memories of the brutal attack on Lao civilians every time one goes off. To this day, 20,000 have been killed and many more left injured while the US penny pinches funds for demining at the dismal rate of 1% of bomb debris cleared in 24 years.
Article 22 is set to change that. It teamed with Peacebomb, a Lao project that melts bomb metal into bracelets, bringing rural Laos to the rest of the world. At the project's core, a powerful concept of rebirth of a land still scarred by war, littered with live bomb debris whose presence perpetuates an inextricable link with the identity of its people. In 2011, one Peacebomb bracelet helped clear 10 square feet of contaminated land; today, the extension of the jewelry line into necklaces, rings and other accessories have increased the rate to 65 square meters.
By developing the untapped talent of artisans and encouraging a wider global appreciation of the kinds of craftsmanship found in secluded places and ultimately giving locals the power to take back their land, Article 22 embodies a contemporary idea of luxury we are all steadily heading towards.
In a world being torn apart in every direction, 'luxury' has taken on new meaning. Precious raw materials, minute artisanal skills, and exquisite finishings are the fundamentals, but purpose, integrity and positive social impacts give them a higher value in a new definition of luxury that intimately link our objects and ideas.
This is a story about finding beauty within destruction: reclaiming that which has been wrongfully stolen, appropriating the pain caused by political quest for power and turning it into something beautiful, enduring and meaningful.
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