NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC‘It was a modern-day lynching’: Violent deaths reflect a brutal American legacy
Lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abraham S. Smith, Marion, IN. 1930
Artist Ken Gonzales-Day has been widely recognized for the “Erased Lynching” series, which include lynching postcard photos that effectively “erased’ the victims of lynching and focused on the white crowds gathered to witness the murders. Gonzales-Day argues that the erasure of the lynching victim “allows the viewer to see, for the first time, the social dynamics of the lynching itself.”
The photos, absent of the images of victims, “helped us to recognise the dynamics of whiteness within the complex history of racialised violence in America,” Gonzales-Day said. “Rather than re-victimising those murdered in such collective, and often pre-meditated acts of killing, the work allowed the viewer to literally focus on the crowd – complete with their jeering and smiling faces."