The photos a group of Western students took in New York after the Sept. 11 attack shared a common image . faces.
Within their black frames, they showed glimpses of human faces weeping tears, candle faces weeping wax and building faces staring into space.
The crowd of over 100 people at the Kentucky Museum gallery stared into the faces in the frames and saw themselves mixed with the past.
The video and photos will be on exhibit at the Kentucky Museum for the rest of the school year. Assistant professor Timothy Broekema said there currently are no plans for other presentations.
The video and photos will be on display during regular museum hours from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
About 40 photojournalism students left campus during the week following Sept. 11.
They took different directions – traveling to New York City and Washington, D.C. – to capture the scenes of one of the most devastating attacks in American history.
A collection of 40 of the more than 1,000 pictures they took opened an exhibition Sunday at the Kentucky Museum.
For Western photojournalism faculty James Kenney and Broekema, the two who brought the exhibit to the museum, it was a labor of love.
“Everyone came home with one goal in mind, share a story,” Kenney said.
Broekema said the exhibit was limited to pictures from New York so it could be more focused.
After the attacks in New York, Nashville senior Nathaniel Corn was afraid of evil seeping into the country, but his fear subsided when he began photographing the survivors in New York City.
Corn’s black and white photo in the gallery features a glimpse of the ruins of the World Trade Center towers that has marked him forever.
“When I was standing there looking, I couldn’t believe it was gone and all the people in it died,” he said. “(The photo) portrays the scar on my heart.”
The video “New York: A City Searching for Hope” will run continuously in the gallery alongside the photographs. The 15-minute presentation was produced by Broekema and Kenney and features many of the photos in the exhibits.
Voices of those who lost family members in the attack told the story of their dead as their photos flashed on the screen.
According to Kenney, making the video was challenging on two levels.
“On the technical level it was a challenge of trying to marry audio and still pictures in a way that would be meaningful and make sense,” he said.
From another standpoint it was difficult for them to balance work on the project with their families and the classes they teach.
“It was important enough to get the message out to everyone,” Kenney said.
Watching the video was difficult for some audience members including Jo-Ann Albers, director of the School of Journalism and Broadcasting.
“You wouldn’t be much of a human being if you couldn’t be touched by putting real faces and flesh and bone up there,” she said.
The video, although painful, is necessary, Albers said.
“I think it’s important for people to understand what’s going on in their world,” she said.
Videocassettes of the presentation and prints of the photos are for sale, and DVDs of the program will be available in two weeks. Videos are $20 and DVDs are $25. Anyone interested should contact Kenney at 745-6307.
All proceeds from the sales go to the WKU Photojournalism 9/11 Scholarship.
The video closes with a song including the words “you’re not forgotten here.” Remembrance is one function of the video.
“It helps us remember and internalize (the events),” Broekema said. “We centered this whole thing around hope.”
In the final shot of the video, a dove is frozen in time with its wings spread out as it glides, untouched by the smoke coming from the ground zero wreckage.