AK47 – Degrees of Freedom
Mikhail Kalashnikov, the iconic AK-47 designer who died in 2013, has expressed regret at creating something that causes so much death.”I would prefer to have invented a machine that people could use and that would help farmers with their work — for example a lawnmower,” he said on a visit to Germany in 2002.
“Everyone knows the AK-47 and I thought, wouldn’t it be great to take this iconic weapon and turn it into a thing of intrigue and art, rather than one of fear.” – photographer Bran Symondson.”
“There is this mythic quality of the AK-47 in South African culture. The AK is the subject of protest songs and possesses a certain mystique, but it is, of course, also very frightening. Its savage beauty can be quite disturbing in a way. I think the beauty is seductive and it pulls people in. But if it makes you think about it, or if you realise what you’re looking at is not that beautiful [that is a good thing]. There’s a seductiveness in the guns, in gun culture – the way people collect them and fetishise them and pose with them. There is that, definitely. And I think you need a striking image to draw people in.” – Ralph Ziman
◊ Choreographies of War series.