Mothers gathered around photographer Kathy Shorr during the unveiling of her exhibit “SHOT: We the Mothers Miami.” The exhibit showcases large vinyl prints that feature portraits and words of 44 mothers who have lost their children to gun violence in the Miami area. The exhibit was initially planned to be displayed from September 27 to November 1 at Overtown’s Theodore Gibson Park. However, the exhibit has to be dismantled earlier than planned, according to emails received by the Miami Herald.
The photographs in the exhibit depict various mothers in different settings, all united by the tragedy of losing a child to gun violence. Kathy Shorr, the New York-based photographer behind the project, was informed that the exhibit must be removed by October 18. This decision has garnered both confusion and support from different quarters.
Pascale Marra, one of the mothers featured in the exhibit, said the display serves as a platform to show the pain inflicted not just on the mothers but also on the entire community. Miami-Dade County Commissioner Keon Hardemon, however, argued that a children’s park is not an appropriate venue for such a display. He suggested that the exhibit should be moved to a more suitable location like County Hall.
Kathy Shorr mentioned that she had reached out to Hardemon’s office in December 2022 but received no response. She also said that even the Miami-Dade County Mayor’s office tried to contact Hardemon without success. Pascale Marra supported Shorr’s choice of location, stating that it serves as an educational platform for children to understand the impact of gun violence.
Some mothers, like Tangela Sears, president and founder of Florida Parents of Murdered Children, felt excluded from the project. She disagreed with the exhibit’s location in Overtown, as it did not feature mothers from that specific community. Sears emphasized that the focus should be on legislation to protect communities like Overtown.
Kathy Shorr has previously organized a similar exhibit featuring 51 mothers from Philadelphia, which received positive feedback. She aims to create a website where mothers across the country can post self-portraits to show the “collateral damage of gun violence.” The resistance she has encountered in Miami is unprecedented, according to her.