When visitors walk into Soul Box exhibits and encounter thousands of Soul Boxes with a face or name, a poignant image, or a heartfelt message, they slow down. They look. They read. They spend time with the victims and their stories. They feel the compassion and sentiments of the countless volunteers who have made all those Soul Boxes. They realize they can take actions of their own to reduce the deaths and injuries from gunfire.
Here are some tips for making your Soul Boxes as unique as the lives they represent.
Thank you to all the countless dedicated individuals and organizations who have requested names of gunfire victims and made Soul Boxes for them. We have received so many we now need unnamed Soul Boxes to balance out our exhibits. These Soul Boxes can be plain colors, have beautiful or potent images, or have messages of love, hope, or protest. They hold space for the victims whose names we will never know--the 60% of deaths that are suicides and the even greater number of those who are injured. Please make Soul Boxes for these people.
Of course, if you personally know someone who has been killed or injured please make a Soul Box for them and let us know your connection. If you want a list of names for a planned group activity or because using names is deeply meaningful to you, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for names of victims not already represented on our panels.
Soul Boxes with original artwork used to inspire or heal can be incredibly compelling for visitors to exhibitions. Use your imagination and express your feelings to create a unique work of Soul Box art.
Soul Boxes without artwork and names are also an important part of the project. They hold space for the victims whose names will never be public, often those who have died from suicide. If you are more comfortable just folding origami, we welcome your participation.
If you are making named Soul Boxes, please strive to make them as individual as each gunfire victim. The name, age, place and date help document the incident, but a victim's life is so much richer than data. You can often learn about a victim's life story on gunmemorial.org. Please avoid using a “template” or even a similar layout for multiple named Soul Boxes unless they are victims of the same shooting.
We know research and design takes time and emotional energy so feel free to use fewer names and make more plain or messaged Soul Boxes. Every one counts!