The Hebrew text here is from the Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5 and means: “Anyone who destroys a life is considered to have destroyed an entire world; and anyone who saves a life has saved an entire world.”
I completed this papercut over 9 months ago, and just wasn’t ready to put it out into the world. Then in June 2017, the verdict came in on the cop who killed Philando Castile after pulling him over for a broken taillight. He was found not guilty on all counts.
I put this papercut on a red background, because I was seeing red. And feeling angry at injustice and institutionalized racism and pondering the verdict that exonerated Castile’s murderer last week. So many police officers are so scared of people of color that they reach for and fire their weapons regularly. And this verdict – How do we fix the laws that led to this verdict by a jury?
The tree is about life, though it also evokes lynching.
The red is about anger.
The words, both English and Hebrew, are a desperate plea. If only every behaved as if all of these things were true, they could become true.