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How Survivors of Mass Shootings 'Grieve in a Fishbowl'

Nov 13, 2017 | 580 videos
Video by The Center for Investigative Reporting

“It’s this horrible curiosity, like a car accident, where everybody has to slow down and look at it.” In Olivia Merrion’s short documentary Grieving in a Fishbowl, produced by the Glassbreaker Films initiative from The Center for Investigative Reporting, survivors of gun massacres recount how the media descended upon them in the wake of the tragedy. They were asked time and again what they saw, how they felt having survived, and why they think it happened. But, as one survivor says in the film, “when the first anniversary [of the shooting] comes around, everyone forgets, and that’s when we need the most help.”


Heather Martin was a senior at Columbine High School in 1999 when two shooters gunned down dozens of her classmates and teachers. To create a space for survivors to talk about their grief and traumatic new realities, she co-founded The Rebels Project, a nationwide support network that connects survivors of mass tragedy to help them process their experiences. Although Martin says she desperately wants the group to stop growing, every year, more members come together under similar tragic circumstances.


Author: Emily Buder

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A showcase of short films curated by The Atlantic