Molotov cocktail in the shape of a heart

"Armament" is Francis Baker's Arab Spring-inspired Molotov cocktail in the shape of a glass heart: "I created this work, inspired by the Egyptians and the so called Arab spring. The visual starting point is the Molotov cocktail that has been the weapon of choice for the protesters. There is a connection in any conflict between the combatants."

armament (via Richard Kadrey)


  1. There is always someone ready gain publicity or otherwise profit from the misery of others. I suppose we ought to be thankful we were spared the Rwandan commemorative pocket machete and the Cambodian memorial plastic bag however.

    1. 1. This was created after the Arab Spring, and has nothing to do with the embassies.
      2. This is art, not some scumbag selling T-shirts outside the smoking remains of the WTC.

      1. No, something like Banksy’s image of a masked protestor throwing a bouquet of flowers instead of a molotov is art. This is just a tasteless glorification of an age old icon of violence.

        I dunno about anyone else, but when I think of “Arab Spring” the first thought that comes to my mind is NOT molotov cocktails. Just the opposite, in fact. While it all was happening I was struck by the profoundly unexpected PEACEFULNESS of the crowds. The vast majority of images, videos, and testimonies I personally came across didn’t depict violent protestors, but violent police and military forces. I remember the roughly translated poems written by scared but hopeful teenagers, I remember the footage of government snipers opening fire on unarmed crowds from rooftops, I remember how much of what I saw failed to contain the damning violence on the part of those who rebel against the status quo that I had secretly been expecting and dreading.

        That’s not to say there wasn’t in fact any violence at all, nor any molotovs thrown. Protesting is a very heated sort of behavior, and it can and does spiral out of control and into barbarity on both sides of the line. But the molotov is almost the ultimate symbol of anger and hatred manifested against government. It is inherently violent, inherently selfish. It places politics before people, idealogy before humanity. It is the tool of those blinded by rage, who care less about bettering the world than they do about expressing their ire and fury.

        A molotov does not speak to us through compassion, or honor, or dignity, or hope, or patience, or forgiveness – it speaks only through fear, and pain, and loss.

        1. When the other side has tanks and you have nothing, you use what’s available. Welcome to the rest of the world.

          1. Because all the greatest social improvements have come from people throwing fire at each other, as opposed to peaceful protests. Suffrage for women, Civil Rights, Indian independence from the United Kingdom, they all succeeded because of molotovs, of course. Clearly they were looking to other great triumphs in social progression, like the French Revolution, the Irish Troubles, the French Student Riots of the 1960s, the Canadian October Crisis, and countless others.

            You seem to be trying to make me look uninformed, suggesting I don’t realize why molotovs are employed as weapons. Trust me, I know exactly what makes them suitable as street weaponry. My complaint is that the usage of such weapons is backwards and ineffective, as is the making of “art” glorifying them. No one ever changed the world for the better hurling molotovs, and nothing that elevates or celebrates the molotov should be given the time of day, much less the dignity and respect of a title like “art”.

          2.  When you can be shot for not doing what you’re told, civil disobedience only gets you so far.

            Also, there was a lot of violence on the Indian side of their struggle for independence, including bombings.

            And did the riots in Detroit in 1967 have nothing to do with the inferior civil rights of the black citizenry?

            As for Northern Ireland, the civil rights struggle there was ultimately successful, so it doesn’t fit that well in the “losers”. To be fair, the nationalist movement is a different story, but there are many overlaps.

          3. If you think that civil rights or Indian independence were achieved without violence, you need a better history book. The non-violent leaders get all the press because the government wants to push the movement in that direction. Martin Luther King, Jr. couldn’t have had his successes if it weren’t for Malcolm X.

          1. I imagine it only seems easy to you because you have trouble telling constructive human culture from a bullet to the forehead.

            But I guess that’s why they didn’t give the job to you, but rather someone who believes art should seek to lift up universal human ideals and tear down universal evils. You’re clearly more inclined to condemn someone for passing judgement on symbols of violence than you are to condemn the continued propagation of violence in society.

        2. This is simply a case of – what you interpret – as disagreeing with your political views being disqualified as art.

          When I personally saw the images it did evoke a peaceful interpretaton. I felt the heart container negated the violent nature of its innards, but this is still my interpretation, just as yours is quite the opposite. Such is the nature of *art*. Just because you think something is wrong does not stop it being art.

          To say Banksy is art, and this not, is utter nonsense.

          1. A stance against violence isn’t a political view. It’s a universal human ideal. Violence is bad. Didn’t anyone ever teach you right from wrong?

          2. Please, explain how this piece is “pro-violence”, if you see it as such.

            Is everyone who ever threw a petrol bomb an inhuman monster?

          3. That may be the case, but it is not relevant to your argument. How correct you see the piece to be does not factor in whether it is art or not.

            Trying to portray me as some kind of psychopath is not conducive to anything, and wildly inaccurate.

          4. A stance against violence isn’t a political view. It’s a universal human ideal. Violence is bad. Didn’t anyone ever teach you right from wrong?

            You can only hold that view because you’re privileged to live in a place where it’s unlikely that you or your loved ones will be murdered by the state. Much of the world does not enjoy that privilege. When you counsel people who are in situations that you can scarcely imagine to use only your approved methods, you aid and abet the oppressive government. Government murder in Syria isn’t going to be stopped by singing Kumbaya.

          5. Death is bad too.  But it’s also a necessary and unavoidable part of existence.

            Neither my truism nor yours is particularly insightful or useful for deciding how to act in the tragically imperfect real world.

    2. Yeah, take Picasso’s “Guernica” for example. What a callous bastard he was.

      These artists, they think they can just use their talents to express something about life. Who the hell do they think they are?

    3. I’d like to mention eldritch’s poorly considered objection that art should not depict, use imagery of, or refer to violence (?), but it hardly warrants an answer.

      However, it seems a bit confusing to use a piece of Catholic iconography to illustrate conflict in the Islamic world. 

  2.  I don’t think this movement is anything to celebrate. So far it looks like a step back. A step back for freedom, tolerance, and human rights.

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