The M. Reichmann Grant
For Emerging Photographers
An American Family
Zachary Roberts - Stockholm, Sweden
For the 10th anniversary of the tragedy that stuck my family in 2006, the Nickel Mines mass shooting, I'd like to honor the legacy of those affected and do an exhibition containing photos of my family and the Amish community.
In 2006 my oldest brother was responsible for the Nickel Mines school mass shooting where five young Amish girls lost their live at the hand of my brother. This past winter I spent a little time with my parents in Pennsylvania, I went because my mother had been rediagnosed with cancer and was given a short time to live. I decided to incorporate images of my family along with images of the Amish people who live in the surrounding areas. The reason is that my family formed a unique connection to these people in the aftermath of the terrible tragedy that happened, based on an incredible act of forgiveness on the part of the Amish.
Originally I am from Strasburg, Pennsylvania but I currently reside in Stockholm, Sweden. After high school I studied filmmaking but never really pursued it. A few years ago I decided to make a documentary about my family and the process of dealing with the events surrounding my brothers mass shooting and suicide. The project became very difficult to manage and there were many issues getting in the way of its continuation. Last July I purchased a still camera and began taking pictures. When I visited my family recently, things began to fall into place when I started to document my family through stills instead of video. This project is a work in progress; I will travel to Strasburg, PA in July for a month to finish shooting it.
If I would be fortunate enough to receive this grant I would use the money for pay for retouching, printing, framing, marketing and PR costs for a 10 year anniversary show in Lancaster, PA in the autumn-winter of 2016/2017, and use any remaining funds for a simultaneous show here in Stockholm, where I'm currently establishing myself as a photographer.