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Photo Series by SVA Alumnus Kathy Shorr Documents Survivors of Gun Violence

From The Fader: “In 2015 alone, the national homicide rate in the United States increased by 11 percent, with gun use contributing to 80 percent of deaths. At a moment when the country is becoming more murderous than any time since the early ‘70s, people like photographer Kathy Shorr are voicing an urgent need for gun law reform, using the power of photojournalism to chronicle survivors of gun violence.

Shorr, who is based in New York City, embarked on a two-year, self-funded mission to photograph 100 of these people and compile the images in book form. With a determined focus, she documented a diverse range of subjects across the U.S.—aged 8 to 80 years old, all with various occupations and positions on gun rights (a third grader, a community activist, a small business owner, and a police officer, are among them). Candid statements from survivors lend context and depth to each image, most of which were taken where the shooting occurred.

Here, in her own words, Shorr explains her true-to-life photo series, SHOT: 101 Survivors of Gun Violence in America, out now via Powerhouse Books.

What drew you to photography?

I went to the School of Visual Arts in New York City. I always liked street photography and taking portraits. One time I drove a limousine and photographed the people in the car over a period of nine months. About 10 years ago, I did a project where I went to a homeless shelter in Brooklyn every Saturday and photographed the families there, with their permission of course. The next week, I would come back and give everyone an 8x10 picture of their family. Later we invited the greater community to a big exhibition in the shelter’s recreation room with donated frames. Doing that project made me start thinking about photography as something that could change lives..." (For the full interview and more photos, click here)

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