Afterthought tells three interwoven stories of women working to commemorate the COVID-19 pandemic.

Artist Suzanne Firstenberg opens up about the challenges of creating a memorial on the National Mall to represent the scale of America’s loss during the pandemic. Rochelle Riley collaborates with artists, community leaders, and families in Detroit to create a new COVID memorial for the city. Following a devastating personal loss, Brazilian-American artist Laura Taylor works to develop a literary memorial to her closest childhood friend. In documenting their work, Afterthought paints an intimate portrait of grief and meaning-making in the wake of traumatic loss, highlighting universal questions around mourning, memory, and healing. 



Charlotte Juergens is an award-winning independent filmmaker based in Brooklyn, New York. In addition to several short films, Charlotte directed the documentary feature Sunken Roads: Three Generations After D-Day, which is represented by First Run Features and will premiere theatrically in New York City and Los Angeles in 2021. Charlotte also works as an archival producer for films, theater, and museum exhibits. In that capacity, she collaborated on three projects that premiered this year: the feature-length documentary How the Monuments Came Down, an exhibit titled New York, New Sounds for the Museum of the City of New York, and an immersive theater experience called Margarita Live. Her past archival work ranges from the Oscar-nominated short documentary Joe’s Violin to two years as a staff researcher at NBC News Archives. Charlotte will begin her Ph.D. in American Culture at the University of Michigan in fall 2021, where she will study American commemorations of contested history. She holds an M.A. in History from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in History from Yale.

Mark Juergens has been a filmmaker in New York since 1982. His work as an editor has led him into documentary and feature films, music videos, episodic television and all sorts of experimental video weirdness. Recently, he spent seven years as the Senior Series Editor for How Democracy Works Now and edited six of the feature-length films in that series. His projects have aired on HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, Bravo, A&E, Discovery, History Channel, MSNBC, Logo, Lifetime, and PBS. Films he’s edited have screened at Sundance, the New York Film Festival, South by Southwest, DOC NYC, and Berlinale. Many have won awards and had theatrical distribution. 

Over the course of Lydia’s 30-year career in film and television, Lydia has worn many hats of all shapes and sizes. Her efforts as a producer, fundraiser, director, news and documentary film editor, sound editor, audio and video engineer, rock photographer, and colorist have resulted in many international and domestic awards, including numerous Emmys and one Oscar. Lydia’s most recent projects include YASUNI MAN, an award-winning feature documentary; SOLD, an award-winning dramatic feature; 79 PARTS, a comedy feature; and NBC Network News shows such as Nightly News, Dateline, and the Today Show.