Monday 17 March 2008

Bob Morales links me to this story:
Streets of the Dead- Washington Post -March 16.
When Washington youths get killed, memorials pay testament to the victims -

"They are street memorials that spring up to mark the places where mostly young people get killed. Photographer Lloyd Wolf began documenting them in 2003 after a boy he mentored lost four relatives to murder in a year. He watched the boy stagger in his pain.
'I learned to see the markers that were erected in the city's rough (and not-so-rough) neighborhoods as representing the powerful emotions of people -- real people, distraught and grieving.'" Wolf says about his photos.
"The memorials take on different forms in different parts of the country, Wolf says. In New York City, mourners pay tribute with elaborate graffiti on streets and walls. They are freestanding in the Southwestern cities of Albuquerque and Austin, like those that dot the sides of the road. They draw influence from Catholic and Latin American images and symbols: crosses, photos in gilded frames and pictures of saints on candles in glass holders.
Here, they might feature handwritten notes and photos. There are flowers and, most especially, toys, their cheeriness repurposed to aching effect: lions and tigers, rabbits and bears. The memorials spring from a collective will that could not save the dead and now offers eulogy and demands justice in tufts of fake fur"
There are nine photographs in a slideshow on the newspaper's site, and on his own blog Wolf has posted hundreds.
Washington's Other Monuments
"These pictures are of the many sad memorials erected by friends & family to honor murder and other violence victims in the Washington DC area. These spontaneous, homemade, heartfelt creations are found on streets throughout the region. They are often the only physical tribute to the many slaying victims.



Blogger James Robert Smith said...

The USA meets the definition, as far as I'm concerned, of a Third World nation. The response to Hurricane Katrina proved that, if I had any doubts.

I used to deliver the mail in very poor neighborhoods. The murder rates there were hideous. Hardly a few days would pass between murders where I delivered mail. One street, Kohler Avenue, had so many murders that the city of Charlotte finally condemned the duplex community there, moved everyone out, demolished them, and planted grass where the houses once stood. The last week it was inhabited, there were two murders and three shooting that resulted in critical injuries.

One day I was delivering the mail near Julia Avenue when I heard a succession of three very loud gunshots. By the time I got to the area where the shots had sounded, the police had it cordoned off. It was a drive-by shooting. The only person shot was a nine-year-old boy trying to cover his toddler sister with his own body. They had been sitting on the front step eating hamburgers their mom had bought them from Burger King. I never heard if he lived or died.

I got caught in crossfire a number of times. Once a gun was fired directly behind me by a woman firing a warning shot at another woman. The bullet missed my leg, but not by much, entering the ground just in front of me (this was on Kohler Avenue). Another time two groups of drug dealers were shooting it out in front of me. A total of eight shots between the two groups--it was a classic running gun battle with three guys versus two guys. No one got hit. I turned around and fled the area.

The USA is a largely pathetic place.

17 March 2008 at 18:14:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

that is truly horrible

17 March 2008 at 18:23:00 GMT-5  
Blogger drjon said...

As you'd know, Eddie, we have a lot of roadside post-tied memorials like that here in Ausralia. There's even on in the City Centre... but they're for road accidents, not shootings. It's heartbreaking.

17 March 2008 at 19:17:00 GMT-5  
Blogger spacedlaw said...

A common site in Italy as well. Most of the memorials are for traffic accidents but there are a few that are not (thank goodness not so many).

18 March 2008 at 01:17:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Hayley Campbell said...

He should come to Brixton. Marcus Garvey Way is covered in mildewed teddybears and spray-paint portraits.

18 March 2008 at 04:18:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hayley Campbell in conjugated verb shocker!

Americans in "right to take arms" shocker!

Eddie Campbell in "I was right about the drivers license" shocker!

Daren White in "shallow smart-arse" shocker!

18 March 2008 at 05:23:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Hayley Campbell said...

Whitey, what the fuck are you on aboot? Go to bed.

18 March 2008 at 07:01:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Aaron White said...

I'm about to move to Charlotte. Hemlockman, thanks for the dreary heads-up.

Here in Birmingham (aka Bombingham, aka Murderham) there is a murder about every four days, although I'm pretty insulated from it.

My friend Kim Riegel has been doing a photo series of roadside shrines:

Hereabout roadside shrines typically involve a cross, maybe a ribbon bow and/or stuffed animal.

18 March 2008 at 10:50:00 GMT-5  
Blogger James Robert Smith said...

Charlotte's not quite so bad on the murder rate lately. It reached its peak about the time I was delivering mail off of Statesville Avenue. Gunfire was an everyday thing in the neighborhoods I delivered. I'm sure you'll be living in better circumstances than the poor folk to whom I was delivering mail.

18 March 2008 at 16:12:00 GMT-5  

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