Who We Used To Be

“There is no foreign land. It is the traveler only that is foreign.”

Robert Louis Stevenson


This photograph, discovered in early 2021, launched a journey of discovery. The story begins in the late 1800s, when a poor Irish immigrant family arrived on America’s shore fleeing the “Great Hunger” only to find themselves caught up in the violent end of the Civil War.

It is about a large family who lived hard, heartbreaking, and harrowing lives. Each generation plagued with trauma, abuse, death, and addiction. Although I did not know of their existence until 2021, I immediately recognized the faces of these ghosts as one of my own.