Watch a tactile short film about how much we say with our hands

Dazed 100er IGGYLDN, and Jordan Macrae are behind the thought-provoking film HANDS

In Michelangelo's “The Creation of Adam” (1508-12), the human hand is so powerful, it transfers life from God to a withering Adam. Just as Michelangelo believed, our hands today are still one of our most powerful body parts: with them we touch and connect with other people, we create sounds so loud that the vibrations can be felt by those who can’t hear, and above all, they have their own expressive identity, helping us to communicate our internal reality.

London-based filmmakers IGGYLDN (you have seen him in the Dazed 100) and Jordan Macrae recognise this power with their latest short film, HANDS. “We tend to pay less attention to the everyday interactions that we go through using our hands,” explains IGGYLDN. “There is a lot to discuss when it comes to these types of interactions, so we wanted to allow people to realise how much the use of our hands impacts the people around us – even the smallest gestures.”

The film features a range of young creatives, such as London-based musician Natalie Onofua and artist J C Cowans, who are all seen in the film through nothing but their hands. “I shoot a lot of talking heads, and wondered what it would be like as an audience to never see the face of the person speaking,” says Macrae. The subjects’ anonymity foregrounds the voice of their hands, and shows how vital hands are to their craft. “I read somewhere that our body language actually communicates more information than the words we use,” Macrae reflects. “Words come second to both tone and body language, and hands are probably the most common body part for gestures and physical communication.”

IGGY adds that, “Although a lot of people can manipulate their exterior to showcase how they want others to perceive them, hands can’t be dressed in the same way, meaning that they can be true representations of how someone is feeling and how that affects their communication. Hands can indicate problems that would otherwise go unnoticed.”

Playing with a piece of white silk, it's J C Cowan’s scenes that make us reconnect with the sensuality of our hands. As the material slithers down her palms, you can almost feel the sleekness of it moving within your own fingers. “I think one of the most overlooked values of the hands is in intimacy,” says Macrae. “Whether it’s holding hands or just touch generally, I think it’s one of the most romantic ways human beings can interact.”

In the fast-paced whirlwind of life in the digital age, it seems our hands are always perched at the beck and call of technology, but HANDS reminds us that we need to look down to our hands more often, to appreciate ourselves and our identities.