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Telling your own story

Hopefully by hearing others’ stories our eyes have been opened, and we can now better understand the effects of September 11th.

created by Michael Jehn

Despite the focus of my presentation being mainly on the collection of people’s initial emotional reactions to the events of September 11th, the art pieces submitted can also be seen as a coping mechanism. Creating art can be useful in helping a person return to a normal state of mind. Although only a small percentage of Americans witnessed the attacks first-hand, the rest of America did not have to witness the events to experience them. According to Eric Fischl, “This is what culture looks to art for, to put image or voice or context to away of rethinking, reseeding, re-opening.” This was one of the purposes of the digital archives—to develop a better understanding of the events and more positive legacy by allowing people to express themselves. Art can be a form of therapy for people; it is a way for people to come to terms with their own emotional conflicts. It is a way for people to create something beautiful and concrete out of chaos and destruction. Brenda Geneua who painted “Lest We Forget” said that her painting represented all of the emotions she felt after 9/11. She could not paint anything else until her mind was cleared of the tragedy, for her painting was a way to organize her thoughts and feelings. For some people art is more than just a creative outlet, it is a way of expressing and coming to terms with your emotions.


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