For the second installment of The Pan-American Identity Project, the series focuses on Guatemala-based artist Regina José Galindo. Her practice is part-performance, part-political protest, and advocates for justice for the genocide of indigenous populations at the hands of a corrupt government.
In Bandera Negra, Galindo waves a black and white reproduction of the Guatemalan flag during an Independence Day parade in the famed tourist city, Antigua, Guatemala. Flags can be emblems of national pride and unity but can also be loaded symbols of protest, conjuring divisiveness. Galindo’s version of the national flag serves two purposes—as a commemoration of the lives lost and as a provocation- that condemns a flawed government at a moment of national celebration. Drained of its nationalistic colors and draped in those of mourning, Bandera Negra creates a new symbol for a nation whose parade going citizens must face the harsh realities and violent atrocities of their collective past.