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Graduation Show - Information Design
An Investigation into the Geopolitics of Arms Trade

The Weapons' Reputation

3D viewing room
The Weapons' Reputation
Ronald Smiths / Design Academy Eindhoven
This project is part of Graduation Show - Information Design

The Weapons' Reputation questions the integrity of the arms trade as a legal transfer of weapons among countries. Underlining the lack of accountability of companies and governments, the project examines the ongoing conflict in Yemen through the type of weaponry employed.

Conventional weapons (any armament employed in crimes, conflicts, or wars, except for weapons of mass destruction) are analysed through their military, economic, and political aspects. The design project translates the findings into a 17’ film, extended by a repository of weapons employed in the Yemeni civil war.

The film narrates the conflict in Yemen (2015-present) from the perspective of three weapons: an American laser-guided bomb, a combat aircraft manufactured by four European countries, and a missile of Iranian origin. By studying the debris of weapons survived to the impact with their target, it is possible to investigate not only who "pulled the trigger" but also who designed, produced, acquired, and delivered it.

The repository is a selection of arms transferred to the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthi militia, visualised as investigative case files. Fourteen dossiers for 14 manufacturing countries, listing weapons systems and components exported after the beginning of the war, and 25 video-evidence to prove their use against civilians and civilian infrastructure.