March 26, 2008
Angola (The Weekly Vice) -- There she is. Miss Landmine Survivor! Think a beauty pageant for landmine victims sounds too incredible to be true? Think again.
On April 2nd, 18 contestants in Angola will demonstrate her beauty, skill and - yes her landmine injuries.
In Angola, millions of mines were planted during a two-decade civil war that finally ended in 2002. Landmines were placed around Angolan towns and across farm fields, victimizing tens of thousands of people who have lost either life or limb in the struggle to cultivate their communities.
The pageant, organized by Angola's de-mining commission, was created by Norwegian theater director Morten Traavik. The goal of the project is to raise awareness of the scope of the landmine problem in Angola.
According to program officials, one contestant will represent every province in the country, for a total of 18 total contestants. The women will range in age from 19 to 35 years old - most of which will have visible loss of limbs or other notable injuries from land mine explosions.
Last November, the women were flown to the Angolan capitol, where they participated in a photo shoot to promote the pageant. The woman were compensated $200 per day for their work and were allowed to keep clothing and jewelry that was used in the promotional sessions.
The Weekly Vice Opinion:
We have to admit, until this story surfaced this week, we were completely unaware of how widespread this ongoing problem has been for the Angolan people. This pageant is accomplishing what all the news reports and talking heads across the world have failed to do accomplish nearly as well. For that, the pageant has been a success before has even started. We wish the program officials, administrators and of course the girls great success and fun with their pageant.
If you'd like to to learn more about this pageant, visit the Miss Landmine Angola 2008 website.
The Weekly Vice