Groups embracing in public spaces surprise people walking by. The negative memories of personal and community conflict are healed by a simple gesture of compassion.
H U G is a public performance installation that effects social change in the world by spreading a healing message of compassion and human connection. H U G is the distillation of one powerful, human action that is understood universally and without bias. It is a seamlessly choreographed grand gesture that sparks a jarring moment of public vulnerability. H U G blankets scarred public spaces that contain the memory of a momentous event of conflict while reminding observers of the ability to heal.
Appearing and disappearing without warning, people of mixed races, ages, and faiths approach one another from opposite directions. They embrace in pairs and remain in stillness. The pairs are arranged in site-specific formations responding to each unique location. The public spaces visited by the installation are the sites of traumatic events anonymously submitted by the community.
H U G promotes community and individual healing and creates an opportunity to replace painful memories with new memories of hope. It supports small acts of kindness as the cornerstone of global social change. H U G creates opportunities for the people of a community to practice compassion for others, to collectively mourn its lost members and to memorialize tragic events.
To watch a 20 minute film of H U G on the internet, email hugperformance(at)gmail(dot)com