I finally started shooting for Live Through This (LTT) yesterday. This has been a long time coming. I feel incredible, and incredibly inspired.
If you’re not familiar with LTT, it’s a project about life on the other side of a suicide attempt. Suicide is a terrifying epidemic. Instead of talking about it, we make broad generalizations about who it affects (ie., not us), and then sweep it under the rug and hope it will disappear. It won’t. Suicide knows no age, creed, race, or sexual orientation. It does not discriminate.
The best we can do to combat this epidemic is face it and talk about it. LTT will be a collection of portraits and the accompanying stories of those who have tried to commit suicide and found reasons to live. It’s a topic extremely personal to me. I’ve lost friends to it, and I nearly lost myself to it five years ago. I’d like to see the project fully actualized in the form of a book and traveling exhibition in coming years.
With this collection of stories, we can start a conversation. We can show the world that the face of suicide is multicultural, ageless, gender and sexual identity neutral. We can start to help people see that the easiest way to combat suicide is to have the balls to ask someone if they’re suicidal and then, if they are, find them help. Armed with this collection, we can help people to see that there is always an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on, that there is a reason to live through this painful moment in time.
This has been my passion project for well over a year now. I’ve spent all this time reaching out to strangers, setting super ambitious goals that were destined to fail, and agonizing over nitpicky logistical details. All of which resulted in one thing: paralysis. I recently made the decision to scale back and start with the basics. That way, growth will be organic. There will be obstacles along the way, but that’s how progress is made. Eventually, I’d like LTT to be large scale and multifaceted, but everyone has to start somewhere.
All of that said: I’m starting with the stories and portraits of people local to the New York area. I’ll also be in Miami from 12/20-12/23 and Orlando from 12/24-12/27. I want to meet and photograph as many people as possible. Strength in numbers, right? This will help me to gather a small catalog of images to show potential backers when I actually launch the Kickstarter project I’ve been talking about. Then I can travel to everyone who wants to share their story.
I can’t do any of this alone, though. I’d just be spinning my wheels. I need your help. So:
- If you would like to participate in Live Through This, please contact me.
- If you think you know someone who might be interested, please pass along the link to this entryor to the LTT website.
- If you’re sympathetic to the cause, please tweet about it, or post a link on Facebook or G+, and ask your friends to re-post it. The more eyes that see this, the better.
- If you want to follow LTT on Twitter, you can do that here.
- If you want to buy a LTT logo t-shirt, you can do that here.
Thank you so much for reading, considering, and any help you’re willing to give. I promise: this will save lives.