Since 2013, there have been 291 school shootings in America.1 There is a growing club of survivors that no one wants to join. From here to there, our stories unite us. This memorial seeks to let the shape of the public memory around this type of tragedy be formed from the texture of the individual narratives of those personally involved.
As a student on campus at the NIU shooting in 2008, I have my story, as do others. Yet, our stories are not usually aggregated, shared, or combined. Through sharing our memories, we can process them individually. Collaborative storytelling allows us to put these stories together, forming an overall shape, without losing the texture of each individual narrative.
This collective creates not only a public record, but a pulpit—shining light on greater issues of gun violence and control through the lens of human experience. The voice of the memorial is not a curatorial voice nor a historian’s, but rather it resounds directly from the people who experienced history that day.
1 School Shooting data from everytown.com