Covid 19, Chapter 2 by Chanika Svetvilas
year created: 2020
“Filmed with an iPhone 8 during the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 when PPE was in short supply and volunteers were sewing hospital gowns and masks for healthcare workers and anti-Asian incidents were on the rise..”
Image Description: This video was filmed with an iPhone 8 during the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 when PPE was in short supply and volunteers were sewing hospital gowns and masks for healthcare workers and anti-Asian incidents were on the rise. I filmed myself cutting fabric and sewing a hospital gown and then eating dace fish with brown rice while listening to a news report about the increase in anti-Asian violence and harassment. I conclude with me breathing and meditating in the woods. The camera follows my walk into a clearing with a closing shot of gazing towards a clear blue sky.
Chanika Svetvilas (chanikasvetvilas.com) is a multidisciplinary artist who utilizes lived experience of mental health difference as a way to create safe spaces, to disrupt stereotypes and to reflect on contemporary issues as a cultural worker. She has presented her work at the annual College Art Association Conference, Society for Disability Studies Conference, and the Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity. She has also exhibited at the Denver International Airport, Queens Museum, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, ABCNoRio, Brooklyn Public Library, Westbeth Gallery, Islip Art Museum, Asian Arts Initiative, the Wexner Center for the Arts, and Trenton Artworks (upcoming), among other spaces and contexts. She holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College.
Svetvilas is also the co-founder of ThaiLinks, a collective that was based in New York City dedicated to increasing awareness about Thai issues and the Thai American community and co-founder of the biennial Thai Takes film festival, the first Thai film festival in New York State. Her work has been published in Studying Disability Art and Culture, An Introduction by Petra Kuppers, and Wordgathering, A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature; and Rogue Agent.
Svetvilas’ studio is located at historic Art Station in Hightstown, NJ where she also serves as commissioner for the Hightstown Arts Commission
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