Craft & Design
Baskets made from telephone wire

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Ethan has a post about these amazing baskets that are made from telcom wire in Africa (or not) – “Some of the most striking pieces of contemporary African art you’ll find are the colorful Zulu imbenge baskets that are woven from “recycled” telephone wire. Using the same techniques as were used to weave reed baskets so tight that they can carry water, these baskets are boldly colorful, strong, and very popular as souveniers for travellers in southern Africa…The baskets raise an interesting question for those of us who work on African telecoms. Why the heck is so much telephone wire getting recycled? Yes, the wired phone network in most African countries is creaky at best… but most African telcos are working to expand their networks, not rip them out and upgrade them. What’s going on here?”Link. Photo by max_thinks_sees.

2 thoughts on “Baskets made from telephone wire

  1. Apparently this is what’s going on:

    I was talking to a man from Africa (Sierra Leone) about handicrafts and he told me about these wire baskets. He said it is the reason many remote areas do not have phone service. According to him, as soon as new lines are run through some of the rural areas, the lines are cut down and used for making baskets and other crafts. The phone companies have given up on phone service in some areas completely.

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