Agent of death to agent of life, Called and Conflicted, Civil Conversations Project, Guns into Garden Tools, Krista Tippett, Omar Saif Ghobash, Palas por Pistolas, Shane Claiborne, Swords into Plowshares, The place of violence in our times, Transform guns into garden tools
The botanical garden of Culiacán has been comissioning artist to do interventions in the park and my proposal was to work in the larger scale of the city and organize a campaign for voluntary donation of weapons. Several television ads were prepared by the local TV station inviting citizens to give up a were gun and exchange for a coupon. Those coupons could be traded in a local store in exchanges for domestic appliances and electronics.
1527 weapons were collected. 40% of them were high power automatic weapons of exclusive military use. These weapons were taken to a military zone they were crushed by a steamroller in a public act.
The pieces were then taken to a foundry and melted. The metal was sent to a major hardware factory to produce the same number 1527 shovels. The tools were made under specifications such as a handle with a legend telling the story.
This shovels have been distributed to a number of art institutions and public schools where adults and children engage in the action of planting 1527 trees.
This ritual has a pedagogical purpose of showing how an agent of death can become an agent of life.
In this month to consider the place of violence in our times, I direct you to Krista Tippett’s interviewed Shane Claiborne and Omar Saif Ghobash in her podcast titled: Called and Conflicted. Tippett writes:
Spiritual border-crossing and social creativity were themes in a conversation between Shane Claiborne and Omar Saif Ghobash, two people who have lived with some discomfort within the religious groups they continue to love.
Ghobash is a diplomat of the United Arab Emirates and author of Letters to a Young Muslim. One of his responses… has been to bring a new art gallery culture to Dubai, creating spaces for thought and beauty.
Claiborne is… co-founder of The Simple Way, an intentional neighbourhood-based community in North Philadelphia. One of the things he’s doing now is a restorative justice project inspired by a Bible passage — to transform guns into garden tools. This conversation took place at the invitation of Interfaith Philadelphia, which hosted a year of civil conversations modeled after the work of On Being’s Civil Conversations Project.
For more, go to On Being with Krista Tippett: Called and Conflicted.