• lb04sd

I am not a virus

A girl is walking with her grandad at a subway station in Paris, suddenly, people on the other platform start mocking them for their ethnicity, dancing around making fun of them. For instagram artist, Kelyrin (@kelyrindraws), this is a true story that took place when she was just a little girl. Though it happened a long time ago, these issues are still very prevalent in society today, particularly with the topic of coronavirus.

Recently, due to the coronavirus, there has been a lot of Asian-bashing. Many artists have taken to Instagram to share their art, and in turn express their objection to it. There are some extremely powerful images on the internet, though they’re different, they all carry a powerful message on the topic of recent racism and xenophobia.

“My intent for this drawing is to bring a sense of community. To let all Asian people know that we can all stand together” Kelyrin said.

Her inspiration for this piece sparked from seeing many virulent comments on the internet. From there, she wanted to make a character that holds a banner reading “I am not a virus”. Also seen in the background of the image are racist and harmful words.

“I wanted it to be faint, in the background, but still visible and still readable, just like a radio turned on or a tune that stays imprinted in your brain for days or weeks. A noisy and discomforting chatter” she continued.

Along with the words, another important component to her piece was the facial expression. Kelyrin wanted to show that the banner is a heavy weight to hold, especially since the outbreak, using the weary, solemn expression that is seen in the character’s eyes.

She hopes that this will open some people's eyes, as they might not know the impact that their words can carry on other people. Sometimes these comments can just be deemed as innocent or even “factual”. Also according to Kelyrin, this is not a topic that is discussed enough, and may have not even been made much worse from the coronavirus because it is so mainstream and normalized; people are just more vocal about it now.

Art can be such an effective way of visualizing topics that need to be brought into the light more often; also a creative outlet for people to spread these messages that hold an impact.

“Art nowadays knows no boundaries, no borders, no gender, no social status, and no color of skin. So let’s use it to make the world a better place” she stated.

15 views0 comments