A victim . . . the most important component of my story is a victim. Who decides who qualifies to be called a victim if we take that decision from the media and powers that be? If I told you a fourteen-year old boy died in a shooting would you call him a victim? If I told you that same boy was a shooter and took other lives would you still call him a victim? In my story he is one in the same and remains a victim throughout . . .
My current body of work consists of a social issue that is autobiographical. I have begun to explore both historically and figuratively the violence in minors, specifically high school shootings. Youth violence is a demographic that people have become desensitized about. My past experience with violence determines how I now view the demographic. All of this comes to a head in my memories when I reflect on my senior year in high school in 2003. That year my high school was victim to three bomb threats and ultimately a school shooting. In the morning a 14-year-old boy entered the school and opened fire killing the principal and himself.
The objective is through my personal experiences my audience gains an awareness of the epidemic but contemplates what they are told about the topic. As awareness grows the hope is that the conversations can come in a preventative approach rather than reflection of an incident that has befallen. My optimism is that an audience can begin to allow their perception of who constitutes as a victim to shift. My work pushes back against those who choose to tell us who a victim is and more importantly who is not one. Additionally it challenges the nature in which we dismiss an act of violence based on the factors that surround it. Are video games to blame, were the parents neglectful, was the child bullied or are the problems deeper than all of those even perhaps societal norms?