Can you imagine our world without guns? Can you imagine the planet if all of the firearms were all of a sudden wiped off?
Well, for sure it would be a much better place to live in. Weapons are scary actually, and causing millions of deaths all over the world, each year.
However, a Mexican artist named Pedro Reyes, has shown the world that perspective is everything! And he decided to convert weapons into something much more useful.
If something’s dying, I think there might be a chance to make a compost in which this catalog of solutions can be mixed in a completely new way. An agent of death, can actually become an agent of life.
One of Mexico’s Western cities, Culicán, with the highest rate of gun deaths, back in 2008 he launched a project called Palas por Pistolas (Shovels for Pistols), and he asked the people that lived there, to give up their weapons in exchange for a coupon which they can use to buy appliances or electronic devices.
His politically charged work, is pointing out the need to end all the violence, and the use of illegal guns in Mexico.
Reyes has confidence in positive points of view, not ‘disappointments’, and keeps up that disappointment is just the consequence of a specific viewpoint. Along these lines, he chose to change protests that are viewed as terrifying and negative into valuable devices.
Pedro Reyes with one of the gun-made shovels.
He figured out how to gather 1,527 guns, which were all sent to an army installation and openly squashed with a steamroller, dissolved and transformed into 1,527 shovel heads.
In addition, these shovels were then appropriated all around Mexico for occupants to utilize them to plant trees. Some of them were shown in displays far and wide, in places like Vancouver Art Gallery, the San Francisco Art Institute, and the Maison Rouge in Paris.
The exercise this venture encouraged us is that a solitary change in context can roll out an immense improvement and make awful things great.
My work aims to show, how death can be simply turned into life.
The artist has additionally changed guns seized by the government into music instruments, to call attention to that ‘music is the exact inverse of weapons’.
I have taken weapons seized by police in Ciudad Juárez and transformed them into instruments: marimbas, drums, guitars, etc. I consider Disarm as a type of exorcism, removing an evil presence that has overwhelmed the body. In the United States, evil spirits of war and violence possess the social body.
He also added:
A cultural rejection of weapons as an industry, must come about if we would like to see some changes in the prevalence of guns. Investing money in a company which is making weapons must be considered sin, or something dirty.
If you invest in weapons, you’re fueling suffering and death all aroun the world. It should be a responsibility for everyone on earth, to go on a crusade against all weapons.
We could not agree more!