The September 11 Photo Project

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9780060508661: The September 11 Photo Project

“I witnessed the fall of the burning towers and death of thousands of people just blocks from where I live. I had taken my camera with me that morning and in a crowd of people took photos while in deep shock, fearing for the lives of those trapped and the rescue workers rushing to save them. I have never felt so helpless in my life.”--Michael Feldschuh

During the three months that the September 11 Photo Project was on display at a donated gallery in New York City's SoHo neighborhood, more that forty thousand people visited the space to view the photos and read the words of the project's contributors. The photos in this book, selected from the submissions of more than five hundred photographers, young and old, amateur and professional, give a permanent voice to those who made the September 11 Photo Project what it is: an attempt to build new understanding from the ashes of what has been.

These photographs are presented in the following pages with the words of the photographers, as they appeared in the gallery.

The perspectives represented on the gallery walls were as diverse as the photos were haunting. Many visitors went away from the exhibit with a greater understanding of what had occurred and were able to begin the healing of the deep wounds of losing friends and neighbors, of witnessing unfathomable atrocity, of feeling that there was no way to help. Together in this book, these words and images lend insight into this calamitous event and our world as it changed in those terrifying moments on a sunny September morning.

The SoHo gallery is closed, but the project continues; the collection has embarked on a nation-wide tour.

The September 11 Photo Project will use its proceeds from the sale of this book to continue its mission, and to support the New York City Firefighters Burn Center Foundation.

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Review:

Like many people in the wake of the September 11 tragedy, Michael Feldschuh felt helpless and frustrated and wanted to do something. Immensely moved by the impromptu shrines and fragile remembrances all over the city, Feldschuh, an amateur photographer and Wall Street professional, thought of something to do. He quickly initiated the September 11 Photo Project. Within weeks, his idea to create a space for the community to collaboratively, in his words, "bear witness" to the horrific events, was open to the public. A huge donated space in SoHo, mere blocks from the World Trade Center site, served as a gallery. Over the next few months, more than 40,000 people visited the gallery to look, read, participate, and mourn. Thousands of people contributed photographs, text, and collages. This book is a collection of images from this important social project. Its proceeds will be used to support a traveling exhibition of the project and the New York City Firefighters Burn Center Foundation. Of course the images are heart-wrenching: handwritten notes remembering missing loved ones, messages written in dust at the site, clouds of smoke, frightened faces. The pictures--some taken with disposable cameras, with accompanying text written on paper scraps--are immensely personal, yet the images capture the devastated mood and feelings of a nation. --J.P. Cohen

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Feldschuh, Michael
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