THIS IS NOT A GUN, 2016 - present
For more information on the community wing of this work, please follow link to thisisnotagun.com.
In December 2016, I began carving objects mistaken as guns by police officers during shootings of unarmed, mostly POC, civilians. The original list of objects came from a Harper’s Magazine image from that same month. The project has since grown tremendously, all the while, I continue to carve. I intend to complete a carving of each of the 23 objects from the Harpers reporting.
A sandwich is not a gun. A hairbrush is not a gun. A wallet is not a gun. Since the year 2000, United States police have “mistaken” at least 38 distinct objects as guns during shootings of a majority of young black American men. None of the victims were armed.
This Is Not a Gun engages with the public through community driven workshops hosted by artists, activists, healers, and mindfulness collaborators. Together, participants shape these mistaken-as-gun objects in clay, giving presence to their form, the human-rights violations, and racism prevalent in America today.