Conflict-free materials guaranteed
OGNO© is campaigning for an internationally recognised quality mark for mobile phones. This would guarantee the buyer that his or her phone is made from 'conflict-free' materials. OGNO©'s logo is a red fingerprint. The colour symbolises the blood that taints electronic devices containing 'conflict materials'.
OGNO© is an anagram of Congo. The African country is home to the world's largest reserves of coltan. This base material is needed for manufacturing the chips that form the beating heart of every mobile phone. At the moment, a war is being fought in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where rebels control the mining of coltan and gold using extreme violence and at the cost of the local people. The hundreds of millions made in this way are spent on weapons again, allowing the rebels to retain their control of the region.
The OGNO© concept was devised by Malcolm Kratz, Cynthia Oegema, Leonie Vlaar and Lois Stolwijk, students of the Utrecht School of the Arts. Their aim is to promote worldwide recognition of the abominable circumstances under which the Congolese people are being exploited in the gold and coltan mines. According to Kratz, there is a good chance of middlemen bypassing the 'conflict materials' if consumers turn up their noses at dubious mobile phones. The big names like Apple, Samsung and Nokia are far too afraid of damaging their image, says Kratz.
Game on iPhone
To boost the name of OGNO©, the four students have devised a challenging game that can be downloaded on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Players try to filter as much gold and coltan as they can from a Congolese river. Then they have to shoot monkeys in the jungle to provide food. One level up, players find themselves in a factory in China, where they assemble mobile phones using the base materials from Congo.
The game gradually increases in difficulty and players can buy an inexpensive upgrade that enables them to score points more easily. The game is intended to be a fun way of drawing people to the informative website http://www.ognocapp.com which explains all the abuse surrounding the manufacture of mobile phones.
For a good cause
OGNO© donates 25 percent of your contributions to the War Child foundation who are currently active in the east of the Congo. The sum donated is given on the OGNO© Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Ognoc) page.