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Miss Landmine Angola 2008

December 4, 2007 | Ethics,Norway,PR


“Everybody has the right to be beautiful.”

And how do we prove that? Why, you silly goose. With a beauty pageant! (Isn’t that the answer to everything? Well, yeah. Up next? Afghanistan! I kid you not. Look it up.)

Norwegian Morten Traavik’s latest “art project” (photos are on display at museums in Norway) is Miss Landmine Angola (in its second year). He received 500,000 Norwegian kroner (about $80,000) from the Norwegian government’s Arts Council Norway for the project. The “winner” gets a prosthetic leg from a Norwegian company.

Traavik insists that “Angolans love beauty pageants” and that his intentions are purely humanitarian.

… one shouldn’t allow oneself to be paralysed by fear of appearing imperialistic. I can’t free myself from the fact that I’m white and Western, and I’ll just have to live with the risk of being interpreted in that light. I think it’s time to rid ourselves of collective Western guilt. To the extent that I’m going to play a role, I’d most fancy being cast as the naive Norwegian with his rucksack going out to make peace in the world. I don’t mind being him.

The women participated “of their own free will.” They were paid $200 each for the photography sessions, and they “got to keep the clothes, shoes and accessories from the sessions. For most of the women, it was the first paid work they had had in a very long time.”

I don’t know. Why not use the $80,000 to buy each woman a prosthetic leg?

Here’s what others had to say.

Hey, I know. Before Traavik gets his “art” displayed anywhere, why not make him enter a beauty contest for White Western Males with Rucksacks to determine who wins a spot in the gallery? We’ll let him keep the G-string and accessories he gets to sport in publicity photos. Ooh. And I bet the Norwegian government would pay for it.

Posted by Becky @ 9:44 pm  

3 Responses to “Miss Landmine Angola 2008”

  1. landismom Says:


  2. MotherPie Says:

    Landmines are a huge issue. I’m for WHATEVER can raise awareness of these problems. Ban them. The problem is with countries like ours, who won’t ban the use/manufacture of these weapons.

  3. sokari Says:

    Good point – they get $200, one winner a prosthetic leg and he gets $80,000. How many prosthetic legs would that buy?

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