Life After Dark: Yellowknifers to tell suicide survival stories

Suzanne Sagmeister's image
Suzanne Sagmeister, centre, with images of Tom Pura (left) and Carol Todd - suicide survivors featured in her work.
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Yellowknifers will tell their stories next week to help create a book documenting suicide survival in Canada.

Photographer Suzanne Sagmeister arrives in the city on Monday to spend three days talking to residents who have experienced depression and suicidal thoughts.

The visit is part of Sagmeister’s nationwide journey to collect stories for a book named Life After Dark, to be published in April 2016.

“I founded an organization called the Conspiracy of Hope, and the vision was to create a conversation at a national level about suicide,” Sagmeister told Moose FM.

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“Life After Dark is a compilation of suicide survivors across Canada who have decided to share their stories and inspire others.”

Background: More information on Suzanne Sagmeister’s website

When Sagmeister was six months old, a suicidal man stepped out in front of the ambulance driven for a living by her father. All in the ambulance except her father were killed.

“I’ve been affected by suicide my entire life. When I look back, I see the effect on my dad and my whole family fairly clearly,” she said.

“I battled depression and suicidal thoughts and, in the community where I grew up, there was a family who lost a daughter to suicide.”

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But the focus of Life After Dark falls on the stories of others.

“I am merely a conduit,” said Sagmeister.

“I look at these people that have chosen to come forward and share their stories with me on a one-on-one basis, and it’s the greatest gift I’ve ever been given in my life – that trust in sharing their tragedy with me.

“They are the ones that are going to create change – their stories are going to be told, resonate with somebody and be heard.”

If you have a story you would like to contribute, you can reach Suzanne by email.

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