Camden, New Jersey is one of the most dangerous cities in America. For many families, it is the city that they call home. Children grow up amongst extreme violence and murder, and losing relatives (often young relatives), is far too familiar for many of the people of Camden. In this ongoing series, I document the families who are left behind to grieve their loved ones lost to bloodshed. Each family is shown in the dedicated shrine locations that they have created for the loved ones they lost. Some of the shrines are erected and decorated outside where their loved one was murdered, some are planted amongst the masses of crosses outside of City Hall, and some have created ornate shrines in and around their own homes. What these families want people to understand is that their family member was taken from them unnecessarily, and they are left to pick up the pieces after having lost someone they love to the endless and senseless violence in Camden. Since their loved ones cannot be returned to them, they want to be heard, recognized and remembered, and they are desperate for change.
Kate Pollard studied photography at the Pennsylvania State University and went on to earn her masters degree in photography from the Edinburgh College of Art in the United Kingdom. Pollard’s work is focused around her personal relationships, and since the death of her father in 2007, her main photographic interest has revolved around how people cope with death and dying. Pollard exhibits worldwide, with solo exhibitions in San Francisco and Edinburgh as well as group exhibitions across the United States and Europe. Her work has been featured in such publications as American Photo (Images of the Year 2008), Portfolio Catalogue (UK) and DayFour (Germany), and most recently in the book Reframing Photography, published by Routledge Press. She lives and works in New Jersey.