How else to get attention for one’s product or one’s art? How else to make a dent when there is incessant exposure to images, and overexposure to a handful of images seen again and again? The image as shock and the image as cliche are two aspects of the same presence.
Regarding the Pain of Others, Susan Sontag.
9/28 – 10/3/15
Michael O.D. Brown.
VonDerritt Myers, Jr.
Kajieme A. Powell.
St. Louis and it’s nearby municipality, Ferguson, saw three deaths in the span of two months. The air is different here, you don’t smell gun smoke or teargas anymore, it’s been several weeks since Michael Brown’s death anniversary. The air is slightly crisp, leaves are turning and beginning to fall from trees.
The deaths of these young men were expressions of the disparities long set by racism, aggravated by the confounding local governmental structure of municipalities–everyone I’d run into would smirk at my effort to ask for clarity of how the local government or governments run.
A unique marker to St. Louis and it’s surrounding areas is the endurance of movement workers keeping the names of Brown, Myers, Powell, and so many others, alive. Whether through daily protest (you can get alerts if you text ‘Fergnow’ to 23559) at the Jennings Police Department, or modestly attend meetings updating community members of developments in investigations or justified lawsuits–the communities are dialed in, the communities are committed.
Yet there are those that are still outside, or perhaps ignore, the work around them. Whole groups of people that don’t volunteer their time and efforts. That somehow pass by the intersection of Shaw and Klemm without paying any mind.
As if these improvised markers fold into concrete, and facades of homes within the neighborhood. Sometimes residents wish these markers away, not for the pain they represent, but the inconvenience to their commutes. Disagreeable as this sentiment is, it’s a valid one, that brings up conversation of life beyond collective grief, happening in coffeeshops like MoKaBe’s, or behind closed doors.