DISARM: Music from decommissioned weapons by Pedro Reyes – upcycleDZINE
If you’re against weapons you can protest with words. But another and more striking way is to ‘say’ it with a combination of art and music. I know this sounds strange, but read on and you’ll know what I mean.
A few years ago Mexican artist, Pedro Reyes, started making projects with dismantled weapons. His latest project is called ‘Disarm‘, worth seeing the video later in this post. Pedro Reyes: “I want my work to be useful for a social and psychological transformation. The beautiful thing about ‘Disarm’ as a project is that it combines music with sculpture and at the same time, with technology.”

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DISARM: Music from decommissioned weapons by Pedro Reyes – upcycleDZINE
Photos © The Creators Project

The background of the project goes back to 2007 when he made a project called ‘Shovels for Guns‘. It took place in the very violent city Culiacan. Pedro Reyes: “We organized a voluntary weapons donation campaign, and they were melted. It was a total of 1.527 weapons, and the same number of shovels were created.”

Unique instruments show ‘Make Music, Not War’

After the shovel project there was a massive destruction in Ciudad Juárez. This time the weapons didn’t come from voluntary donation. They were seized by the army from criminal organizations and then shipped to Mexico City. By the time Pedro Reyes got them they were already dismantled so they couldn’t be used as weapons again.
So during this process he and his team tried to think of something different, and that’s when they came up with the idea of making musical instruments. So the first generation of instruments was built for the project ‘Imagine‘ in 2012. The second series is made up of eight instruments that were created in collaboration with a team musicians and Cocolab, a media studio in Mexico City. A great video has been made by ‘The Creators Project‘.
To fully see and hear what Disarm is all about, please watch the video. It’s just stunning what Pedro Reyes and a team of dedicated people did.

There’s such a fantastic contrast between the old and new function of the metal. Originally a weapon and now a music instrument. Quite an upgrade if you ask me.

Design Pedro Reyes


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