Basij Vending Machine
Basij Vending Machine
2009

25 x 25 x 61cm

Vending Machine, LEDs, Resin Keys, gold leaf

 

 

During the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, many young boys volunteered to join as the Basij (a volunteer militia) and enter the engagement.  It has been speculated that some of these adolescents were furnished with a key to wear around their necks, symbolizing the entry into paradise should they die as a martyr.  This piece modifies a children’s vending machine customized with LED lights dispensing gold leaf keys and branded with the iconic emblem of the Basij. The ensuing discourse challenges one’s understanding of the concept of childhood roles.