Watch Ryan McGinley’s short film about US activists fighting against guns

‘Up in Arms’ shows the diverse young radicals shaking up America’s gun control conversation

“This is a moment for you. This is my life, this is my reality.” Staring right down the barrel of the camera, Ruby Noboa, a trans rights and equality activist, is referring to the shooting of schoolgirl Hadiya Pendleton in Chicago in 2013: one of the many school shootings that have devastated the US, and the world. “Up in Arms”, a short film produced by Ryan McGinley, to accompany the latest Dazed cover story, lenses the young orange-clad activists demanding greater representation and radicalisation within America’s gun control movement. 

For people like Ruby and Christopher Underwood, who began speaking out at the age of 10 after his older brother Akeal was shot in the street, their fight for change has been going on for much longer. Pulse nightclub shooting survivor Brandon Wolf, and Adam Eli Werner of Gays Against Guns have similarly been campaigning for years. These activists have been frustrated by the lack of representation for people of colour and LGBTQ people in the gun control movement. But here, we see young people of different ages, ethnicities and backgrounds united by a frustration that their disparate communities continue to suffer gun violence. They confirm Brandon’s belief that “if the country could unlock the intersection of these communities being impacted by gun violence... we would be unstoppable.” Striding through the streets, wielding placards, and chanting, their demands are clear. They want gun control – now.

For one of five covers of the summer issue of Dazed, out now, Ryan McGinley photographed a group of pioneering young gun control activists. This film was made in tribute to the movement. 

Photography Ryan McGinley, styling Emma Wynman.