performance: artist jesús hilario-reyes uses performance piece “pajaros del mismo plumaje (birds of a feather)” as protest action

March 14, 2016

Pajaros del mismo plumaje (Birds of a Feather) is an ongoing performance art project by artist Jesús Hilario-Reyes that aims to highlight and prompt conversation about the traumatizing post-colonial systems that oppress and marginalize black society. Performers of the piece stand together holding burlap sacks (deeply imbedded symbols of slavery as it was once used for slave bedding, clothing, burial preparations, etc.) The sacks are sewn together with dark blue threads, which symbolize police uniforms. Jute is used to mimics burlap in the form of a noose.

The piece has been preformed as an act of public protest, most recently at the Christopher Columbus Monument in Grant Park [pictured below] which lasted for 28 minutes, “representing the 28-hour cycle when someone is shot by the police in America. The piece creates space to mourn for those lost to police brutality, while subverting said systems,” Hilario-Reyes told AFROPUNK.

By Erin White*, AFROPUNK contributor

*Erin White is an Atlanta-based writer and AFROPUNK’s editorial and social media assistant. You can follow her on Tumblr or friend her on Facebook. Have a pitch or an inquiry? Shoot her an email at