In honor of the one year anniversary of the tornado that ravaged their town, survivors of Joplin’s tornado join New Orleans natives as part of the “Dear Me” photo project, a series of pictures by photographer Robert Fogarty that show devastated communities and people on the rebound.
On Starting Point this morning, Fogarty explains the concept behind the project, explaining that he brought his subjects to places of significance around Joplin and asked them to write how they were feeling with a Sharpie marker on their bodies.
In one photo, a man named Bradley German holds his son Brody. Across Brody’s back, under a huge scar, is the word “survivor.” Fogarty brought the two to St. John’s, the hospital they went to when Brody got his injury during the tornado, and photographed them there.
At the same hospital, Fogarty took pictures of Philip Wilkinson, a relatively unknown hero who took a wrench to a gas line at the hospital, ensuring that it didn’t blow up. Wilkinson’s hands read “faith” and “hope.”
Fogarty’s idea for the project came from the acknowledgement that society has become accustomed to fitting as much information as possible onto one space.
“I figured I’d distill everything down to a person’s story and message on their body,” Fogarty explains.