A Million More
Ideas that change the world are often the most controversial
Volvo Cars, a name synonymous with safety, gave the world the first three-point safety belt in 1959. After its introduction, Volvo faced a world of criticism. People questioned the need to wear them, and some felt laws forcing them to wear one was an infringement on human rights. Volvo persevered by releasing the patent and including three-point safety belts in all of its cars. Since every car manufacturer could use them, society as a whole could benefit. Since then, the three-point safety belt has saved more than a million lives. Today, Volvo hopes to save a million more lives with new safety technology like speed limiters and in-car cameras, which are controversial in their own ways.
A Million More features portraits and audio recordings that tell the stories of survivors saved by the safety belt, captured by esteemed photographer and Fotografiska alum, Martin Schoeller. The portraits capture the strong emotions in survivors’ faces as they recall their traumatic experiences and the hope and positivity that came from surviving them. Each survivor is photographed in a similar way, yet slight variations in body positioning highlight the individuality of each unique story. In addition to shooting their portraits, Schoeller also recorded their voices as they shared in their own words what transpired.
This exhibition invites viewers to become fully immersed in the retelling of survival stories. It is a powerful and hopeful reminder that life can change in an instant and underscores Volvo’s commitment to safety and ambition to save a million more lives.
A Million More is organized by Volvo Car USA in partnership with Fotografiska New York
Read more about the safety features that will help save a million more on the campaign website.
About Martin Schoeller:
(German, b. 1968) is one of the world’s preeminent contemporary portrait photographers. He is most known for his extreme, close-up portraits; a series in which familiar faces are treated with the same scrutiny as the unfamous. The stylistic consistency of this work creates a democratic platform for comparison between his subjects, challenging a viewer’s existing notions of celebrity, value and honesty. Schoeller’s print and motion work has appeared in many major advertising campaigns and has won several awards. Most recently he received a prestigious Black Pencil at the D&AD awards and Cannes Outdoor Grand Prix Award for his Colin Kaepernick portrait in Nike’s Just Do It campaign. Schoeller’s work is included in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Martin Schoeller lives and works in New York.
“They crossed over the yellow line and came at us, head on.”
“After the accident I was terrified. I couldn’t sleep. It really hit, I could have died.”
“Our favorite song came on and we were very silly. Turned up the volume and we’re singing, we’re singing. Neither one of us realized what was going on. Anything could have happened without our seatbelts.”
“I am grateful I am still here to be able to tell the story. After the accident I felt like I got a second chance.”
“I was sure I was going to die. We are flipping off the road, the world slowed down and I just closed my eyes, that’s it, hands off. We hit so hard, it was crazy. People pulled over and they were expecting to find two dead bodies, but then I kicked the door open.”
“Volvo saved our life and I will never drive any other vehicle.”
“I’m just really fortunate to make it past that day.”
“Without the seat belt, there’s no way on God’s earth that I would even be here.”