In an overflowing scrapyard behind Karl Marx Avenue in Maputo, faces stare out from twisted metal. Among mortars, spent cartridges and spoked wheels — raw materials in Gonçalo Mabunda’s open-air studio in Maputo — are the anthropomorphic thrones and masks that the artist has refashioned from guns and rocket launchers. Born in 1975, the year of Mozambique’s independence from Portugal, Mabunda was only seven when he first felt the weight of an AK-47. It belonged to his uncle, a Frelimo government soldier. He has recycled "thousands of weapons and millions of bullets" in the 20 years since he began making art out of decommissioned weapons from the civil war of 1977-92. Mabunda was the first Mozambican artist at the Venice Biennale, in 2015. He has two thrones exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in London, where his fourth solo show has just ended at the Jack Bell Gallery. Twenty-five years after the end of the civil war, Mabunda is in the vanguard of Mozambican artists who...

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