Hands On With a Vision, 2017 by Pedro Reyes
For Pledges of Allegiance, Reyes offers the flag of the pUN: The People’s United Nations, an experimental conference that applies tools and resources from social psychology, theater, art, and conflict resolution to geopolitics. Unlike the real UN, where delegates are appointed by states and are career diplomats, the people’s UN welcomes individuals who are connected by family ties or by birth to the nations represented at the UN. To date, pUN has gathered individuals from over 160 different countries. The first encounter took place in 2013 in NYC, and was followed by convenings in Los Angeles in 2014 and in Kanazawa Japan in 2015.
Reyes writes: “The flag of pUN is inspired by the hamsa (literally, “five” in Arabic). This right palm with an eye at the center of it has been a symbol of protection across cultures and millennia. Originating in Africa, the hamsa predates Christianity and Islam. Workers’ and peoples’ movements have often been represented by a hand, sometimes holding a tool or closed in a fist. Here, the hand is open. Rather than signaling ‘stop’ with all fingers together, its fingers are spread in a salute. This benignant hand placed over an orb is meant to signal our mission to protect the planet. And here, its five fingers represent the world’s five populated continents. pUN’s motto is ‘Hands-on with a vision.’ Join us.”
About Pedro Reyes
Pedro Reyes was born in Mexico City in 1972. He has won international attention for large-scale projects that address current social and political issues. Through a varied practice utilizing sculpture, performance, video, and activism, Reyes explores the power of individual and collective organization to incite change through communication, creativity, happiness, and humor. In the fall of 2016, Creative Time presented Pedro Reyes’s Doomocracy, a house of political horrors, at the Brooklyn Army Terminal.
Creative Time has previously worked with Pedro Reyes on Doomocracy, Creative Time Reports, and the Creative Time Summit.
Photograph by Nicholas Prakas