Free World - September 15, 2021

Photo by @lucasfogliaphoto / “I grew up in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. In third grade …

Photo by @lucasfogliaphoto / “I grew up in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. In third grade I had the strictest teacher ever. The littlest thing, and she would make us stand and look out the window in complete silence. Our view from the school was the whole city. On 9/11, me and another student got in trouble. And while we were facing the window, we literally saw the plane go through the tower. We started screaming, “Oh my God! Look! A plane crash!” And our teacher told us to stop because she thought we were trying to get attention. We were like, “No! Just look out the window!” And then she walked over and closed the shades. She wouldn’t even look. “Now you’re staying there longer.” And we stood there, looking at those dark brown shades,” says Desiree Blakis.

Blakis (right) and her best friend, Dorota Dusza, are pictured in 2002. I started photographing that summer because I wanted to show the city healing, in celebration and unity, and with some scars. This photograph is part of my book Summer After, published by Stanley/Barker for the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. For more about the book, visit @lucasfogliaphoto.


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