Wayne Lawrence
Wayne Lawrence

On June 12, 2016, a gunman opened fire in Pulse Nightclub, one of Orlando, Florida’s most popular gay nightclubs, killing 49 people and wounding dozens more. This was the deadliest mass shooting in American history, the worst terrorist attack since 9/11, and the deadliest hate crime against LGBTQI people and Latino people. Conversations around motives, terrorism, gun laws, and civil liberties rose, once again, to the surface of America’s daily discourse.

Pulse was a safe haven for the Orlando LGBTQI community, a space where people felt free, welcomed, and loved. In the days immediately after the attack, as people attended vigils, lined up to donate blood, and struggled to overcome shock and grief, a community targeted by hate found resilience. Supporters and allies came together to speak out in solidarity—standing for love, unity, and hope.

Photographer Wayne Lawrence is known for his sensitive and intimate portraits of Americans of every class, race, and creed. Lawrence spent a week in Orlando gathering the stories of a community that has been battered but not defeated. This story was a digital feature for National Geographic in June 2016.

Artist Bios

  • Wayne Lawrence

    Wayne Lawrence (b.1974) is a St. Kitts-born, Brooklyn-based visual artist whose work, rooted in the documentary tradition, seeks to illuminate the complexities of human experience, navigating ideas of community, purpose, and humanity’s relationship to our natural and adopted environments.

    Wayne’s photographs have been exhibited at the Bronx Museum of Art, the FLAG Art Foundation, Amerika Haus (Munich), the Open Society Institute, and the African American Museum of Philadelphia, among other galleries.

    His work has appeared on the covers of National Geographic and TIME and has been published by National Geographic magazine, The New York Times MagazineThe New YorkerNew York MagazineAARPTIMERolling StoneVarietyMen’s Journal, Mother Jones, MareCOLORS, and Newsweek.

    His first monograph, Orchard Beach: The Bronx Riviera, was released by Prestel Publishing in October 2013, with accompanying exhibitions at the Bronx Museum of Art, and the FLAG Art Foundation.

    Wayne is currently at work on his second book, Black Blood, an exploration of J’ouvert Carnival traditions in the eastern Caribbean.rt & Art history.


  • National Geographic

    National Geographic

    Established in 1888, National Geographic is a trusted print and digital publication offering stories that illuminate, inspire, and reveal. Our mission is to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of cultures, the sciences, and the natural world. We advance that mission by creating visually stunning, richly reported photojournalism and distinguished, impartial coverage of the globe’s most pressing issues. National Geographic (@natgeo) has more than 284 million followers.

  • United Photo Industries (UPI)

    United Photo Industries (UPI)

    United Photo Industries (UPI) is a New York based nonprofit organization that works to promote a wider understanding of, and increased access to, the art of photography.

    Since its founding in 2011, UPI has rapidly solidified its position in the public art landscape by continuing to showcase thought-provoking, challenging, and exceptional photography from across the globe. In its first seven years, UPI has presented the work of more than 2,500 visual artists in gallery exhibitions and public art installations worldwide.


 archive : 2016

Featuring: Wayne Lawrence

Curated by: Mallory Benedict

Presented by: National Geographic, United Photo Industries (UPI)
  • National Geographic
  • United Photo Industries (UPI)


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