What is the Gas Mask all about?
In our society, and especially in military culture, it’s natural for people to put on a “mask”; to hide the pain, the emotion, the weakness. 22KILL strives to treat everyone with respect, and to show them love and compassion; regardless of race/gender/sexual orientation/social status/financial status/title.
We want a society where people can be comfortable enough to lift these masks and be able to express themselves without the fear of being judged. We need to understand that it’s in our nature to feel emotions and pain. Ignoring these feelings – or pretending to ignore them – deprives us of our humanity. The reality is that we are all complex humans who walk very different paths in lives experiencing various traumas and triumphs. We can’t always understand one another, but we will continue to try, until everyone is “unmasked”.
This “unmasking” is one of the meanings behind the 22KILL Gas Mask. We all may have different interpretations, but the message and the goal remain the same.
Alternatively, the Gas Mask can also be a symbol of anonymity, in multiple aspects.
It represents the non-discriminatory nature of suicide. Suicide doesn’t care who or what you are. It can and will take anyone away from us in an instant if we let it.
It represents those who have lost that battle and taken their own lives, because to most of the world, they have become anonymous. Part 22KILL’s initiative is to put faces to the numbers, to recognize them as people and not just a statistic, and to make sure that we never forget.
Finally, it represents all of us as part of the 22KILL tribe. It doesn’t matter who you are. We don’t all know each other, but we support each other, and are all brought together by a common cause. You don’t have to know someone to want to help them, you just have to care as one human being to another.