Ground Zero: Through a Laborer’s Eyes

By: Jeanne Winton

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Photos captured by Jeanne Winton

On September 9 a new art exhibit opened at the Perrella Gallery called, “Through a Laborer’s Eyes.”

The art gallery was filled with photos taken by Louis Pabon as well as other artifacts he’d collected while he was working on Ground Zero. Pabon clocked about 1800 hours while working to clean up the site.

Pabon worked closely with Joel Chapin, and FM art professor, to pick around 120 photos out of the 3,000 he had accumulated during his time working at the site.

With photos of workers smiling and friends working together, Pabon sheds a new light on Sept. 11, 2001 and its aftermath. Pabon stated, “I had a lot of pictures of people and debris, but once I started focusing on the people I began to get a story out of it.”

Pabon’s mission was also in full motion, his mission being to “keep the story of September 11 alive and to educate people.”

At the opening of the exhibit, Pabon gave a speech. He stated, “You do go through certain emotions, but it’s been so long for me that I have a good handle on it; Because I’m on a mission with these pictures”. Pabon wants people to be aware of what happened after September 11 as well, because the aftermath is also a large part of the history. His art is even going on the move, as he’s got a tour set up and is taking his exhibit to 50 states, 51 capitals all across the country after its time here at FM.

Joel Chapin said that Louis had “a unique perspective on ground zero, because he was there every single day.” Chapin stated that when he viewed the exhibit, “even after two years it’s very overwhelming.”

Many people came out to support and view the exhibit. Lawrence VanAlstyne said “It makes it more real. Knowing someone who was there makes a connection. The only real connection is those who have lost loved ones. Everyone else blacks [September 11] out so we don’t get emotionally connected.”

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