Massoud Hassani (1983)
“I grew up in Qasaba, Kabul. My family moved there when I was 5, and at the time there were several wars going on. My brother Mahmud and I we played every day on the fields surrounded with the highest mountains in our neighbourhood.
When we were young we learned to make our own toys. One of my favourites was a small rolling object that was wind-powered. We used to race against the other kids on the fields around our neighbourhood. There was always a strong wind waving towards the mountains. While we were racing against each other, our toys rolled too fast and too far. Mostly they landed in areas where we couldn’t go rescue them because of landmines. I still remember those toys I’d made that we lost and watching them just beyond where we could go.
Almost 20 years later, I went back to Qasaba and made those toys again. That was my graduation project for the Design Academy Eindhoven (2011). I remade one, making it 20 times bigger as well as heaver and stronger. Powered by the wind, it’s meant for the same areas which were (and still are) full of mines.
Now if it rolls over a mine, the toy, now a Mine Kafon, will destroy itself and the landmine in the same time. Made from bamboo and biodegradable plastics, the Mine Kafon also has a GPS chip integrated in it. You can follow its movement on the website and see were it went, where are the safest paths to walk on and how many land mines are destroyed in that area. On paper, Afghanistan is said to have 10 million land mines. In truth there are far, far more. Every destroyed land mine means a saved life and every life counts.”
Mine Kafon – Deminer (2012)
After getting to know the design of Mine Kafon, director Callum Cooper of ardentfilm.org contacted Massoud Hassani to collaborate on a documentary. The aim of the project is to create more attention for this worldwide problem and help along the production of the Mine Kafon as well. The result will be a short film, which shows a personal portrait of the designer who has created a low cost solution to landmine clearance.
Mine Kafon will be part of the collection MOMA (New York) and Hassani will also have an exposition in this renowned museum in March 2013.
During the shooting of the film it was proven that the prototypes work, now Hassani is in the process of finding collaborative partners – technical companies, fundings and governments – to start to produce these live saving deminers.
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