Sunday, August 3, 2008

Miss Landmine

Aid agencies dismissed it as a freak show, but the Miss Landmine contest that took place in Angola this Spring says au contraire. The organizers' stated purpose is to prove that there is life after a booby-trap, and that life can (still) be beautiful. Looking at the maimed contestants brings undeniable uneasiness, yet no different than when one looks at images of war, torture, or catastrophe. It is looking reality in the eye -- this time making the victims feel empowered and admired. After the success of this year's inaugural contest, the organizers plan to take the competition to Cambodia next year. Judging from the number of countries plagued with landmines, and the number of new victims every year, they have a long way to go.
photo via