The death of George Floyd on May 20, 2020, has not been forgotten in Minneapolis. The place of his death has become a memorial where people bring unique and moving handcrafted memorials.
And a new photography exhibit, “Documenting A Reckoning: The Murder of George Floyd,” at Mill City Museum documents the tragedy and its aftermath. This exhibit has a lot to offer to people from all backgrounds. It has put together powerful and disturbing images.
On April 1, the Mill Museum hosted a free public event about the exhibition that included a discussion with community photographer Gene Garvin, and freelance photojournalists Nicole Neri and Octavio Jones on Floyd’s death, the protests that followed, and how history is documented. Brent Lewis, photo editor at The New York Times and co-founder of the site Diversify Photo, moderated the event. Diversify Photo hosts photographers of color, serves as a database for photo editors and helps recruiters add diverse team members.
As the panel discussed, something really caught my ear. I heard a wish to keep Floyd’s memorial alive and a part of Minneapolis for the next 1,000 years to make sure people remember this tragedy and the brutality of police violence.
“This city has been the epicenter of racial violence so long now. It feels this is what defines Minneapolis, nothing gets past it,” an audience member told me after the discussion.
As an outsider looking at this situation, this made me wonder, should there also be a way forward? When will it be appropriate to move from mourning to building a better community? Or agree to better police policies? What will the future be? When can we talk about hope? Above all, how can the system, and the people in it, change?
“Documenting a Reckoning: The Murder of George Floyd” will be on display at the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis through June 5.