Not A Shield, but a Weapon is an installation of 100 newly reproduced bespoke handbags, which traces the effects of trade liberalisation on the city of Marikina in the Philippines, where the bags were produced. Once a thriving site of leather manufacturing, Marikina suffered from the easing of trade restrictions in the early 90s and has been in decline since. Abad’s installation proposes a direct link between Margaret Thatcher’s problematic legacy and the history of the city. The handbags are modelled around Thatcher’s black leather Asprey, which was auctioned in 2011 and sold for £25,000 in a charity sale held by the disgraced Tory peer Jeffrey Archer. The installation examines the seemingly arbitrary way that objects are valued and considers the various forces that create the counterfeit object – from economic policies that become destructive in its attempts at cohesion, to misguided lifestyle aspirations that are shaped by colonial legacies and capitalist diktats.