Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) is one of the world’s largest arms fairs. It comes to London every two years. Its purpose, like all other arms fairs, is to make money. It does so by selling lethal weapons and torture implements. Generally sellers will sell weapons to anybody. DSEI routinely invites delegates from countries that have appalling human rights records. As you might imagine, most arms fairs keep quiet about what they do. DSEI is no exception.
What is Art the Arms Fair?
Art the Arms Fair was set up by volunteers to draw attention to DSEI 2017. Artists of all ages, nationalities and abilities gave works to a huge exhibition. We sold work, ran events and generally created a bit of a stir around DSEI. Art the Arms Fair organisers created and attracted TV, radio and social media coverage. This drew attention to the arms trade. Those involved also had a lot of fun with acts such as Cassetteboy, Dizraeli, Attilla the Stockbroker and Kate Smurthwaite. We sold amazing art from artists including Peter Kennard, Banksy, Darren Cullen and Danny Minnick. Art the Arms Fair raise over £250,000 for good causes.
We are now planning Art the Arms Fair 2019.
What happened in 2017?
We ran an exhibition and organised community events. We had great entertainment and raised a lot of money. The funds all went to groups who oppose the arms trade and work to mend the harm it does. Our video will give you a flavour of what happened.