orthopedic pain management

Greg Cohen — Untitled Gun Project

Last week, Jas of our pho­tog­ra­phy forum posted a link to the work of Amer­i­can pho­tog­ra­pher Greg Cohen and his Unti­tled Gun Project. This photo essay depicts mod­ern Amer­i­can chil­dren pos­ing with guns. It intrigued me enough to con­tact Greg Cohen and ask him the fol­low­ing ques­tions about this project. Here are his answers below.

Luke - Untitled Gun Project by Greg Cohen

Unti­tled Gun Project by Greg Cohen

 

MK: How did you con­ceive this project?

GC: The project was inspired by the mas­sacre in New­town, CT, where I grew up. These fam­i­lies’ entire uni­verse have been turned inside out and if we don’t keep this fer­vent con­ver­sa­tion alive, it’s des­tined to become another story soon to fade away. The prob­lem is com­plex, and part of it is that we’re com­pletely desen­si­tized to vio­lence and killing; so I wanted to cre­ate images that are dif­fi­cult to look at. If they’re dis­turb­ing, then that’s an emo­tion worth explor­ing. If they’re not dis­turb­ing, then that’s some­thing to con­sider even more. Essen­tially this is a plea from the chil­dren… why can’t this vio­lence stop?

 

Untitled Gun Project by Greg Cohen

Unti­tled Gun Project by Greg Cohen

 

MK: Who are these chil­dren, are they from the USA?

GC: Yes, all the chil­dren live in the US. I reached out to fam­i­lies who were affected emo­tion­ally by the event and who wanted to respond in some way.

 

Untitled Gun Project by Greg Cohen

Unti­tled Gun Project by Greg Cohen

 

MK: Are the guns real, where did you get them?

GC: The guns are not real. I am com­pletely against chil­dren han­dling real guns. It’s against the law for kids to drive or smoke, why is it legal for them to play with guns? Fre­quently I hear about a kid with a gun acci­den­tally shoot­ing some­one, and I’m never sur­prised. Why?  Because kids instinc­tively like to play, that’s what they do. And they should be play­ing, but instead we’re liv­ing in a world where many chil­dren are forced to grow up too fast. It’s tragic.

 

Untitled Gun Project by Greg Cohen

Unti­tled Gun Project by Greg Cohen

 

MK: Did you leave the project Unti­tled so peo­ple could title it for themselves?

GC: I con­sid­ered a lot of titles for the project, but noth­ing felt right. They were either too clever and they belit­tled the grav­ity of the sit­u­a­tion; or they seemed too lim­ited, and cor­nered peo­ple in a given direc­tion. So yes, I want peo­ple to run with it how­ever they wish. If an appro­pri­ate title came to me, I’d use it, but noth­ing so far.

 

Untitled Gun Project by Greg Cohen

Unti­tled Gun Project by Greg Cohen

 

MK: How long have you been work­ing on this project and what are its future plans?

GC: The idea to pho­to­graph chil­dren with guns began a long time ago, but orig­i­nally it was a very dif­fer­ent project and the images I had in mind were more involved. When the mur­der hap­pened in New­town, the project became clear, and I felt inspired to sim­plify the entire thing.

The plan is to get these images in front of as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble, hop­ing to inter­rupt their day, if only for a moment. Let us con­sider the state of things, and maybe talk to one or two oth­ers about it. Hope­fully we can keep this con­ver­sa­tion alive long enough to cre­ate some real change. We deserve the free­dom to send our kids to school with­out the fear of never see­ing them again.

 

Untitled Gun Project by Greg Cohen

Unti­tled Gun Project by Greg Cohen

Comments

  1. Jason says:

    Jas­Photo, thanks for post­ing about this project and Marko, thank you for doing the inter­view. As a father of a young child who lives less than an hour from New­town, I still haven’t really come to terms with this tragedy.

  2. JasPhoto says:

    Very pow­er­ful and provoca­tive series. Thanks, Marko, for high­light­ing Greg Cohen’s “Gun Project”. If one pic­ture is worth a thou­sand words, the expres­sions on the faces of these chil­dren are worth a mil­lion tears.

Speak Your Mind

*