‘Mushroom cloud’ rises in New York to raise awareness of nuclear danger

New York.- An inflatable mushroom cloud rose this Tuesday in Times Square, New York, United Statesto awaken the consciences of passers-by against nuclear weapons, because “as a civilization, we have to choose between banning atomic weapons or ceasing to exist“, warns at the foot of the white column its creator, the Mexican artist Peter Reyes.

When we started working (in 2019, on this project) they saw us a bit crazy, as if it was a thing of the past. Unfortunately, there are still 13 thousand atomic weapons in the world and today the governments that have these nuclear weapons are investing trillions of dollars in new weaponsReyes said under the shadow that the fungus casts on the crowded plaza.

The installation, a 9-meter-high white inflatable balloon in the shape of a nuclear cloud, is crowned with the motto “zero nuke” (zero nuclear weapons, in Spanish) written in black ink in the languages ​​of the countries with nuclear weapons: United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, France, Israel, India, Pakistan Y North Korea.


With today’s extremely volatile political context, the risk of a mistake, an accident or a bad decision that, moreover, falls on a handful of people, could have consequences that are nothing more and nothing less than the end of life on earthReyes says.

In front of his work, Reyes insisted on the importance of civil mobilization, because – he explains – the end of nuclear weapons “It will only be achieved if there is pressure from society, if we inform ourselves and express our indignation and our rejection of the cruelest and most harmful invention of human beings“.

It is important that we make this desire visible. As a civilization we have to choose between banning atomic weapons or ceasing to exist“, he expressed before re-emphasizing that a disarmament “It will not come from the governments that have nuclear weapons, it can only come from society demanding through this culture change that weapons be prohibited and supporting organizations“civilians.

One of these NGOs, the Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), was present at the inauguration of the work, which will continue to stand in the square until May 24.


Beatrice Finnexecutive director of ICAN, who received the award Peace Nobel On behalf of the organization in 2017, he returned to the idea of ​​the nuclear threat that currently casts its shadow over the planet.

With Russia threatening to use nuclear weapons, we are in a really dangerous moment, with great concern about nuclear escalation. The invasion of Ukraine has shown the whole world the reality of nuclear weapons: that we are all hostage to the whims of a few men from nine countries“He said at the presentation.

The director was also present. Mitchie Takeuchidescendant of survivors of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima.

The detonations of the nuclear bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki are often depicted with the image of a huge mushroom cloud as we are reminded of here in Times Square today. But, I always felt that the image was impersonal and abstract, and intentionally didn’t represent anything about the monster of violence or what happened under the mushroom cloud“, said.

Takeuchi, creator of the documentary “The Vow From Hiroshima“, about the life of the activist and survivor of the attack of August 6, 1945 Setsuko Thurlowrecalled that he spent his childhood in a city under a mushroom cloud, and therefore said that he felt the “responsibility to share a lesser-known side of history, the story of profound human suffering“.

The work, which has already been exhibited at the Tlatelolco square, Mexico City, Mexicoto commemorate the treaty of the same name signed in 1967 to establish the denuclearization of Latin America and the Caribbeanwill also travel to the headquarters of the Nobel prizes in Norway Already Viennawhere the 86 signatory countries of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weaponswhich entered into force in January 2021.

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‘Mushroom cloud’ rises in New York to raise awareness of nuclear danger