31/05/2023

The US experiences so many mass shootings that journalists don’t often linger lengthy after the assaults. Reporters and photographers transfer on to different tales, whereas the households and associates of the victims proceed to grieve.

One 12 months in the past at present, a gunman killed 19 kids and two academics at an elementary faculty in Uvalde, Texas. Tamir Kalifa, an impartial photojournalist based mostly in Austin, traveled to Uvalde shortly after the shootings — however he saved coming again. Tamir briefly moved to Uvalde to stay alongside the victims’ households, renting a 320-square-foot delivery container transformed into a house.

We’re devoting at present’s publication to a number of the images Tamir has taken over the previous 12 months and to excerpts from his interviews with households.

“The grieving cycles don’t match the media cycles,” Tamir informed us. “We transfer on, however households don’t.”

Xavier “X.J.” Lopez, 10, beloved Christmas. He beloved going to Uvalde’s annual extravaganza, an occasion with gentle shows, decorations and vacation music. So this previous Christmas — their first with out XJ — his mother and father, Abel Lopez and Felicha Martinez, and his siblings went to honor him.

The soundtrack of a kids’s choir performed as they walked by way of the occasion. Then, they heard a loud blast that appeared like gunfire — an overloaded transformer had burst. Felicha had a panic assault and collapsed on the grass.

“As of late are purported to be comfortable,” she stated later that night. “However they’re simply reminders that our lives are torn aside.”

The weekend earlier than Tess Mata, 10, died, she informed her older sister Religion that she needed to discover ways to swim. Religion was about to start her senior 12 months at Texas State College, the place college students soar right into a river on campus as a commencement custom. Tess needed to participate together with her huge sister.

On her commencement day this month, Religion walked together with her household to the river. Then she jumped in, clutching a photograph of Tess. The photograph was a candy image — but in addition a painful reminder.

“Tess appears precisely like Religion,” Veronica Mata, their mom, stated. “So the opposite day she got here and she or he informed me, she’s like, ‘I’m so sorry that you need to have a look at me every single day and consider Tess.’”

The cemetery the place a lot of the victims are buried has change into an anchor within the lives of their households and associates. They’ve gathered collectively for graveside birthdays and holidays. They mow the garden, adorn the headstones and lie on the plush grass that has taken maintain.

Caitlyne Gonzales, 11, who misplaced a lot of her associates within the taking pictures, involves the cemetery to go to them. On a current night, she stopped by Jackie Cazares’s grave and performed Taylor Swift music. She sang and danced and took selfies. For a second, it was as in the event that they had been all collectively once more.

Most of the mother and father have discovered objective in activism. Brett Cross, the uncle of Uziyah Garcia, 10, who was elevating him as a son, spent 10 days camped exterior the college district places of work in protest, alongside different relations and supporters. They demanded that college law enforcement officials be suspended over their function within the delayed response.

The protest ended when the district halted its faculty police division’s operations and positioned two officers on depart.

Members of the family have additionally testified earlier than lawmakers on each the state and federal ranges and protested past Uvalde. Tamir stated that a picture of Jackie Cazares’s mother and father, Javier and Gloria, at an annual gun violence vigil in Washington, D.C., surrounded by different survivors of gun violence, was some of the highly effective moments he’s witnessed.

“It’s essential to see every of those relations as a part of a nationwide community of individuals intimately affected by gun violence,” he stated. “It’s one that’s rising every day.”

You’ll be able to see extra of Tamir’s pictures right here.

Tamir Kalifa contributed reporting and pictures.

The Tony Awards will look totally different this 12 months, however they may go on, after a bunch of playwrights satisfied the putting Hollywood writers’ union to not picket the present.

As a part of the settlement, the awards present could have no scripted materials. However it should function the same old razzle-dazzle performances from this 12 months’s crop of musicals. That was essential for Broadway, which has struggled to draw audiences because the pandemic and depends on the Tonys to generate curiosity.