Art Projects

‘…And Then You Get Shot’: An artist’s response to black death in America

Statement from the artist, Danielle Scruggs:

And Then You Get Shot is a text series highlighting the scenarios in which Black men, women, and children were killed by police and people citing Stand Your Ground and Castle Doctrine laws as self-defense. There is a pervasive need to blame the victim in cases of extrajudicial killings, state violence, and police brutality and I created this series to highlight the absurdity and tragedy of the circumstances that have led to hundreds of deaths and assaults on Black bodies.

This isn’t supposed to be about the legal part of these incidents as much as it is about the absurdity of the circumstances that led to the deaths of Black men, women and children, as well as to address the way victims are often blamed for their own deaths. For example, if the argument is one should be safe if they stay inside, it did not work for Aiyana Stanley-Jones, a 7 year-old in Detroit who was shot to death while she slept on her grandmother’s couch when the police raided her house.

For the sake of brevity, some of the facts of the stories I read were condensed to be one sentence. However, the larger issue I want to highlight is the fact that too many people have been killed either by police or by citizens invoking Stand Your Ground and Castle Doctrine laws without being tried in a court of law for any alleged wrongdoing. This is also a continuation of my series Collective Memory, which are tracings of photos of victims of extrajudicial killings.

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