Among the sea of pinstripes at international arms fairs, Jill Gibbon doesn’t stand out. In her dark skirt suit, cream silk blouse, glasses and pearls, she looks every bit the global security expert she claims to be on the accreditation form. Yet she is not at the expo to broker a deal, but to secretly draw those making them.
Armed with a discreet notebook and pen, Gibbon aims to penetrate the “veneer of respectability” she says cloaks such events, revealing the vulnerabilities of those who make a living selling weapons of mass destruction. These include: the sales rep vomiting after starting on the champagne at 11am, the young woman in the tight dress bringing an incongruous glamour to a Scud missile stand, the string quartet serenading bomb-makers on the back of a military truck and the mannequins wearing gas masks. Read more