On May 23, 2014, Elliot Rodger stabbed three men in his apartment killed six people and injured fourteen others near the campus of University of California, Santa Barbara. After the tragedy had occur Elliot Rodger killed himself inside his vehicle, leaving behind an upload video on Youtube explaining his reason and document called “Elliot Roger Manifesto: My Twisted World.” Marking the one-year anniversary of the devastating events Melissa Barthelemy, a PhD candidate with a BA in History, participated as the manager and curator putting together an exhibition called “We Remember Them: Acts of Love and Compassion In Isla Vista.” The Exhibition consisted of seven different section; starting with introduction, victims, spontaneous memorials, memorial events, making meaning+national politics, come together continuing events, and gratitude.
The exhibition consists of a grieving process. Remember the victims with love, remembering the person they were, their goals in life and exisitence. After such a traumatic events people need space to sit down and think about the lost of the community, an environment were they are allowed to be sad and express their sadness in positive ways. To remember the great importance of the lost the community faced but not to dwell on it, to feel themselves with positive memories from them and become a stronger and better person for them. It really hard to let go of the past specially when it involves a community tragedy. Were people not only are suffering from the lost but they are also feeling unsafe in their own surroundings. The trauma of “that person could have been me,” feeling of lack of protection can feeling triggered the community to take unhealthy action based in anxiety and fear.
Every negative event that occurs in life will be converted to a positive event with the right processed. This exhibition through hope and the feeling of love and caring for each other. The feeling of protection that students were giving back to each other when the event occur and also a year after in the anniversary. It is important to have a healthy environment were people feel free to be themselves and wake up every day to a health and safe place to be. That is the message the exhibition tried to provide to students as they visit the exhibit. The most important thing is the unity and support from the community. Making meaning of it and demonstrating how the campus united in form of peace and love toward the victims. How this particular tragedy was not just darkness and sadness, how this tragic event help unit the community even more and everybody was there for each other. How this was not just a horrible event, it was a tragic event that made UCSB and Isla Vista a stronger community.
We remember does whose life were taking away from, without given chance to finished creating a life. We unit in form of solidarity and compassion toward our community, environment, world. We remember with love and sympathy, remembering impacted this people made in our surroundings