Photographer Deborah Bay doesn’t want to detail her own gun control views: “I think it’s up to the viewer to interpret the work,” she says. But the photographer does ask us to “realize the impact any of these bullets would have on muscle and bone,” and to appreciate how pervasive guns have become in America.
Because of a decades-old law, buying guns and ammo directs money directly toward conservation. And when gun sales spike as the result of fears of impending gun legislation, it results in a rapid influx of cash.
HOW DO YOU DEPICT THE 400,000 YEARS OF LIFE LOST TO GUNS ANNUALLY? NOT BY AGGREGATING, BUT BY SHOWING EACH LIFE AS A DISCRETE LINE.
“We’re hoping that people will see these individual victims,” the team tells Co.Design. “We’re not looking at aggregate numbers. We’re not trying to analyze this data. This data was living and breathing, and has now been extinguished. We’re hoping to keep their flames living on in the hearts of others.”
That word “flame” plays out literally. A black background is cut with a burning orange or yellow arc of light (a person’s life). Upon death, they fall from the sky, and a “ghost lift” line finishes their trajectory. It’s absolutely cutting to look at, especially after a few moments, when the graphic just inundates you with lost life—what adds up to 400,000 years of living, taken by bullets.
This stunning visualization by Periscopic makes the sad numbers behind gun deaths more tangible.