Art revealing the gunfire epidemic: The healing way of the Soul Box Project
I remember in elementary school when the overhead speaker would crackle on and inform us that we were participating in a shooting drill. Unlike most kids, I never was scared or apprehensive, because I knew once we came out from our hiding places, everything would go back to normal. Although as I grew older, I started to understand that school shootings actually happened. I started to process the fact that not everything in life is a drill and when shootings do occur, the consequences stretch far beyond physical injury.
Recently, I was told about the Soul Box Project and its healing way of addressing the gunfire epidemic in the U.S. This project gives a platform for those wishing to honor the victims of shootings; welcoming anyone to send in origami boxes decorated with the name of a victim. People decorate these boxes with care and send them to exhibits where they are displayed. The city of Portland is lucky to be home to one of the permanent exhibits. I myself have folded boxes with friends and sent them in to become part of a bigger movement.
This project is so impactful because it does not strive to comment on the political climate of gun rights in the U.S., nor does it forcefully blame the perpetrators, instead Soul Box strives to bring about a new sense of awareness. The founder of the Soul Box Project, Leslie Lee, said that if someone came into one of the exhibits and walked out with an aspiration to host a conversation about safety among their gun club, speak to their child about anger management, or even write to their local legislator, then the project would have succeeded.
While I have yet to visit one of these exhibits, I have seen numerous pictures of the piles and piles of boxes that people send in. The sight is astounding. There is true, unfiltered beauty in this project and if you are looking for something to do this weekend, or when you find yourself with time on your hands, I implore you to look into this project, and maybe even fold a box yourself.
Elisabeth Dellit is a 9th Grader at Jesuit High School. She enjoys reading, writing creative stories, baking/cooking and participating in her school’s drama program.