These Vibrant, Bigger-Than-Life Portraits Turn Gun Death Statistics Into Indelible Stories

by | Jul 10, 2024 | Health

PHILADELPHIA — Zarinah Lomax is an uncommon documentarian of our times. She has designed dresses from yellow crime-scene tape and styled jackets with hand-painted demands like “Don’t Shoot” in purple, black, and gold script. Every few months, she hauls dozens of portraits of Philadelphians — vibrant, bold, bigger-than-life faces — to pop-up galleries to raise an alarm about gun violence in her hometown and America.

In a storage unit, Lomax has a thousand canvasses, she estimates, mostly of young people who died from gunfire, and others of the mothers, sisters, friends, and mourners left to ask why.

“The purpose is not to make people cry,” said Lomax, a Philadelphia native who has traveled to New York, Atlanta, and Miami to collaborate on similar exhibitions on trauma. “It is for families and for people who have gone through this to know that they are not forgotten.”

Each person “is not a number. This is somebody’s child. Somebody’s son, somebody’s daughter who was working toward something,” she said. “The portraits are not just portraits. They are telling us what the consequences are for what’s happening in our cities.”

Firearms in 2020 became the No. 1 cause of death for children and teens under 18 — from both suicides and assaults — and fresh research on the public health crisis from Harvard Medical School’s Blavatnik Institute show how those losses ripple through families and neighborhoods with significant economic and psychological costs.

On June 25, U.S. …

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PHILADELPHIA — Zarinah Lomax is an uncommon documentarian of our times. She has designed dresses from yellow crime-scene tape and styled jackets with hand-painted demands like “Don’t Shoot” in purple, black, and gold script. Every few months, she hauls dozens of portraits of Philadelphians — vibrant, bold, bigger-than-life faces — to pop-up galleries to raise an alarm about gun violence in her hometown and America.

In a storage unit, Lomax has a thousand canvasses, she estimates, mostly of young people who died from gunfire, and others of the mothers, sisters, friends, and mourners left to ask why.

“The purpose is not to make people cry,” said Lomax, a Philadelphia native who has traveled to New York, Atlanta, and Miami to collaborate on similar exhibitions on trauma. “It is for families and for people who have gone through this to know that they are not forgotten.”

Each person “is not a number. This is somebody’s child. Somebody’s son, somebody’s daughter who was working toward something,” she said. “The portraits are not just portraits. They are telling us what the consequences are for what’s happening in our cities.”

Firearms in 2020 became the No. 1 cause of death for children and teens under 18 — from both suicides and assaults — and fresh research on the public health crisis from Harvard Medical School’s Blavatnik Institute show how those losses ripple through families and neighborhoods with significant economic and psychological costs.

On June 25, U.S. …nnDiscussion:nn” ai_name=”RocketNews AI: ” start_sentence=”Can I tell you more about this article?” text_input_placeholder=”Type ‘Yes'”]

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