SANDBOX x Ahl Masr Foundation
Every year, more than 300 thousand people suffer from burns in Egypt. These burns not only cause physical harm, but psychological harm as well. Because pain and struggles shouldn't define people, at SANDBOX, we took pain and turned it into a source of pride, confidence, and beauty - into jewelry.
To do so, we collaborated with Ahl Masr Foundation - the first Non-Profit Organization in Egypt and the Middle East to focus on burn prevention and treatment. It was established in 2013, and is in the process of building the world's largest non-profit burn hospital, to be located in Egypt. We sat with four powerful women - Asmaa, Marwa, Amina, and Sherine - who suffered from burn injuries and are being treated at Ahl Masr Foundation. We heard their stories, interacted softly with their scars, and photographed their beautiful burns. We chose to only photograph and use the burns on their hands and arms for conceptual purposes, linking back to the starting point of this entire concept: the desert rose stone.
The desert rose is a stone formed and cemented in dry areas - such as the desert - due to low temperature and pressure. Research into the stone's surface and historical context would eventually lead to the idea of turning burns into jewelry. To link the stone with the end result, we did research into the human anatomy to find a metaphorical desert rose within the human body through bone structures. We found that the 8 carpals bones on a human's wrist have a visual formation extremely similar to that of the desert rose. Accordingly, we chose to solely use burns evident on the surface of the metaphorical desert rose: on the hands and arms.
After hearing the women's stories, and photographing their scars, we highlighted shapes from the burns, turned them into sterling silver, wearable and modern jewelry, and launched our Autumn 2017 collection CICATRIX. CICATRIX incorporates two lines: the "Visibles", based on the obvious patterns from the scars, and the "Imprints", based on intricate, detailed and zoomed in parts drawn from the photographs. These women inspired us, moved us, motivated us and even brought us to tears. With CICATRIX, they were able to get a glimpse of the silver-linings within their experiences. With each piece from CICATRIX, you too can experience the realization of silver-linings - ones that speak to your own ordeals - and help give back to humanity through your purchases. 15% of all CICATRIX sales go to Ahl Masr to help treat these women physically and psychologically, and to aid in building the hospital.