Repurposing Weapons in Laos & Cambodia

From 1964 to 1973 the US dropped millions of bombs in Laos and Cambodia, a ‘secret’ part of the war against Vietnam and Communism.

A country with very few resources, Laos has made use of the 2.5 million tons of munitions by repurposing the metal, although often at an horrific human cost, for in 2016 it was estimated that there were still 80 million unexploded bombs in the country.

A bridge anchored by recycled bombs in Laos.
A bridge made out of recycled bombs. (Laos) Recycled bomb acts as a planter in a monastery in Luang Prabang.
Recycled bomb acts as a planter in a monastery in Laos2.7 tons of bombs also fell in the country next door, Cambodia, and current speculation insists that the destabilizing effect of this action lead to the Khmer Rouge and the genocide of millions of citizens.

When we were there in 2007 Cambodia was still a country in pain, but everywhere you could see attempts to heal the population. One of these was a metal sculpture exhibit in Siem Reap entitled ‘Turning Weapons into Art’. My biggest hope for the country were its children, who seemed exempt from the anger, and were protected from any future nightmares…
Siem Reap exhibit 'Turn Weapons into Art' This elephant sculpture is part of an exhibit called 'Turning Weapons into Art' in Siem Reap More of the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Repurpose

11 responses to “Repurposing Weapons in Laos & Cambodia

    • Fascinating article – I’ve heard the phrase before but didn’t know it came from the Bible or associate it with the conversion of weapons materials into useful/peaceful items – it’s an idea we need more of the way the world is going.

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