This project began with a flyer found on the bulletin board at photographer Victoria Stevens’ local gym. A Manhattan high school student was looking for media coverage of the walkout she and a few of her friends had helped orchestrate to protest gun violence, in solidarity with other young people across the country. Stevens was immediately interested, and met up with them to learn more about their reasons for getting involved with this cause:

“Not only have our lawmakers failed to pass comprehensive gun reform on a federal level, but we've become historically accustomed to neglecting communities of color that need our help. This movement is a testament to these problems. While gun violence affects us all, our black and brown brothers and sisters are most affected on a daily basis, and are in need of our full attention. That’s why we march.” – Beacon High School students Liv Kleinberg, Aisha Rodriguez, Julia Frankel, Divine Ndombo, and Aida Sawadogo

Stevens found these young women incredibly inspiring, and arranged to meet them at their school on the day that thousands of other students were holding similar walkout-style protests around the country. After taking portraits of each young woman individually, they led her to the rally. She was surprised when she discovered that their high school was directly across from an elementary school that was also staging a protest that day. Countless students from both schools took over the street that divided them. The younger children held hands, marching in lines, while the older students took turns rising up on a platform to shout their grievances through a megaphone. This rally was just the beginning of a new wave of activism for the youth of our country.

How to View Beacon’s Walkout

During the day, Beacon’s Walkout can be viewed on monitors inside the ICP Museum and during evening hours, images are literally “projected” onto the windows of the ICP Museum; they can be viewed from the sidewalk outside the Museum and are most visible after sunset. Learn more about Projected.

About the Artist

Victoria Stevens (1984) was born in the south and split her formative years between the UK and upstate New York. After attending college in Savannah, Georgia she hightailed it to the big city and has called Brooklyn her home for the last eleven years. She has explored every facet of the industry, starting as an assistant for world-renowned portrait photographers, then working as a producer, retoucher, and finally photo editor for several years before diving full-time into her own freelance photography career. She can be found shooting portraits for the New York Times and T Magazine, Interview, W Magazine, Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, and other publications around the world. Her passion for activism and world travel have influenced her personal projects, and she’s often found shooting reportage-style work in the midst of politically charged protests and unique cultural events.

TOP IMAGE: © Victoria Stevens