Activist-artist Raul Lemesoff’s “Arma De Instruccion Masiva“, or “Weapon of Mass Instruction,” may seem militant but it’s actually a peaceful mobile library. The artwork/vehicle serves a very serious function; with around 900 books on the car’s “shelves” at any given time, Lemesoff provides free reading materials to anyone inclined to pluck one from the collection. As he tours through Argentina’s urban centers and rural communities alike, the artist views his work as a mission “to contribute to peace through literature.”
Image (cc) by Carlos Adampol on Flickr
The distinctive structure at the center of “Weapon of Mass Instruction” is highly symbolic. The vehicle consists of a tank-inspired frame over a 1979 Ford Falcon — a vehicle which was popular with the armed forces of the military dictatorship at the time. Where the vehicle once brought military oppression, it now bring literature of all genres in a collection constantly replenished through private donations.
Raul Lemesoff explained to the AFP, “The Weapon of Mass Instruction is meant to get people to recognize various aspects of life; sharing, and education, and also to have a good time.” Lemesoff’s art work has led him to bring books to remote impoverished towns where, according to the AFP, as many as half the children may not have gone to school.
Having toured large areas of the country in his extraordinary vehicle, Raul Lemesoff now has his sights set on delivering free literature, in his own distinct style, to Peru and Bolivia.