One the most conspicuous vehicles that makes its way through Buenos Aires is the ‘Arma de Instrucción Masiva’ (Weapon of Mass Instruction), pictured here in front of the City of Buenos Aires Legislature.
The book exchange on wheels is the brain child of artist, Raúl Lemesoff, who hopes to take his ‘book tank’ all over South America.
The idea began when Lemesoff was living in the United States. Former U.S. president George W. Bush decided to invade Iraq on the false assertion that the country held weapons of mass destruction. With the aim to counteract fear with education, Lemesoff was inspired to build his ‘Weapon of Mass Instruction,’ to distribute free books.
The ‘tank’ is made from a converted green 1979 Ford Falcon, purchased from the Argentine armed forces. It’s the same car that once caused terror in young people in Buenos Aires. The military government would patrol in this same make and model — and perhaps with this same car — looking for presumed political dissidents. Tens of thousands of those dissidents — students, intellectuals and activists disappeared forever.
The bookmobile has visited the furthest stretches of Argentina and regularly visits underfunded public schools, slum neighborhoods, the San Telmo Fair and downtown.
If you come across the Weapon of Mass Instruction take a book, or better yet, donate one in any language.