Redesign of a guitar for Raising Malawi

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Created: 03/11/11
Last Edited: 12/04/12
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Description
This project was created at the School of Visual Arts, NYC at the MFA Designer as Author program. We were each (18 of us total) given a fender guitar to redesign based on a charity of our choice. I chose Raising Malawi. I felt that this organization needed more attention, and I felt heart broken at the thought of little children loosing their parents, later their own lives due to a disease which should be long gone.
  • Raising Malawi
    Guitar designed to serve as a symbol for the Raising Malawi Organization
  • HIV/AIDS has had a particularly devastating impact on children in Malawi, Africa the fourth poorest country in the world. A 2008 UNAIDS report estimated 640,000 children are orphaned because they’ve lost both parents to the disease. Raising Malawi is founded in the spirit of Ubuntu, an African philosophy that acknowledges the common bond between all people. There is a saying in Ubuntu: “I am because we are.” Translated simply, it means, “Without you there is no me. Your fate is mine.”

    My goal was to create a symbol for every child effected by this epidemic, in the image of a butterfly- beautiful, fragile, and longing to be free, with the message of Ubuntu on the inside “ I am because we are.” This is an interactive piece, when closed it looks like a Map of Africa, indicating the location of Malawi through the positioning of the guitar tone & volume knobs. When opened it becomes a butterfly.
  • Finished product
  • Progress photo, painting of the details 
  • Planning stage
  • First coat, painting of the black outline
  • Progress photo, the message laser cut out of one of the wooden wings
  • Painting of the interior
  • Wings/Map cut out of wood
  • Guitar neck disassembled

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