Essential Pittsburgh
5:08 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

"Walk Towards the Hurt," to Get Past a Tragedy

Coping with tragedy with a candlelight vigil
Coping with tragedy with a candlelight vigil
Credit Kaz Andrew / Flickr

In the wake of a tragedy, how do we make sense of what’s taken place?

As part of Contemporary Craft’s ENOUGH: Artists Speak Out programming, Professor Steve Gorelick of Hunter College comes to Pittsburgh this Monday to talk about violence in the media, and how it affects our daily lives.

Gorelick has served as a consultant to government agencies during times of crisis, he was part of a research team called to Oslo, Norway after the Anders Behring Breivik bombings and was interviewed by the Huffington Post in the wake of last year's Sandy Hook tragedy.

When asked about how survivors can get to a point where they can move on with their lives, Gorelick says,

“I think part of the way we do it, is by doing something counter-intuitive and something that the artists in the exhibition are doing. We, in a sense, walk towards the hurt and the darkness rather than walk away from it. Now that doesn’t mean flagellating ourselves, but it means after getting over the initial shock of incidents there are aspects of things that happen to us, that we simply have to face in the fullness of our pain. And we can do that in all sorts of different ways: there are professionals that help with this, there is music and art and literature and all sorts of ways that we can heal. We can, ourselves, create, as a way of healing, but eventually I think we just have to face the horror of what happened to us.”

Gorelick also says he thinks the ultimate healing was shown by the Newton, Connecticut residents this past year, because the media left them alone to grieve “in their own terms and on their own schedule.”