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Pulse Nightclub Tragedy, Community Healing and Advocacy

Bennett Barthelemy | United States

Image taken at the 'One Year Later' exhibit at the Orange County Regional History Center in Orlando. A remembrance banner where individuals are able to express their own feelings as well as read others' responses to the tragedy. An important piece of community healing is to be involved in the larger process of sharing. Tragedies such as this one affect thousands of individuals and require a collective grieving process.

Images captured in Orlando, Florida, for the one-year memorial anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting on June 12, 2016. Pulse was a gay nightclub where 49 were killed and 63 injured by a gunman. The FBI labeled the massacre as an act of domestic terrorism aimed at the entire nation. But speaking with the families of the victims, the survivors, and even top city administrators, it is clear that most in Orlando see it as a hate crime, a bias-motivated attack aimed at the LGBTQ+ community. This tragic event has helped spark greater awareness of LGBTQ+ issues in Orlando, with some conservative churches and businesses actively working to support the community, altering their earlier homophobic stances. As a result of this attack, many have been spurred to increasing levels of activism. Non-profit organizations have been created to help support the LGBTQ+ and communities of color in the Orlando area, create curriculum design in the Gay Straight Alliance chapters in local schools, and advocate for politicians who promote gun violence prevention and champion LGBTQ+ rights.

Melissa Barthelemy, University of California, Santa  Barbara, Public History PhD Candidate

University California Santa Barbara

City of Orlando Mayor's Office

KCSB-FM 91.9, University of California, Santa Barbara


I work without flash and with one small camera handheld. I seek to experience and share the deeper and more raw side of humanity that can enrich and inform. I am inspired by diverse community bridging efforts and believe that moving forward, we all have a duty to engage and share in the opportunities to affect positive change. As a dynamic shooter and storyteller I live for the unfolding of moments as diverse elements come together to create a valuable dialogue between subject and viewer.

The Dru Project

onePULSE Foundation

Contigo Fund

Orange County Regional History Center and the Orlando Collecting Initiative

Resilience, Remembering Pulse. UCF Art Gallery June 8-30 2017 Exhibition Catalog Edited by Keri Watson

My own project.

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