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Photos: Daniel Mansur e Brendon Campos

Instalação de Birutas [Windsock Installation], 2021 

Satin-finish nylon, steel and galvanized wire 


In Instalação de Birutas [Windsock Installation], Arjan Martins combines two objects associated with communication and orientation practices: windsocks and nautical flags. Windsocks are used to indicate the direction the wind is blowing—a critical information for aircraft pilots, for example. The nautical flags of international maritime signaling allow the exchange of messages between crew members of vessels, by hoisting and combining different flags, in accordance with the International Code of Signals (ICS).


Among the 26 types of existing nautical flags, the artist selected five to create the windsocks: VICTOR, which means "I require assistance" (white with red cross); OSCAR, which means "man overboard" (yellow and red); WHISKEY, which means "I require medical assistance" (blue, white and red); KILO, which means "I wish to communicate with you" (yellow and blue); and BRAVO, which means "carrying dangerous goods" (red).   


By fusing these two elements—windsocks and nautical flags—Arjan addresses the transit of bodies across the oceans, the trafficking of enslaved people, as well as the diasporas caused by the colonial movements. 

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