• catherinejiang2

Shedding Light Through Social Media Art

The coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19, has caused the shutdown of countries worldwide. It has dramatically affected the way that people live -- six feet apart at all times, no social gathering, online schooling, and leaving some struggling to pay rent. With such a momentuous shift in way the world is run and people's daily lives, Asians have increasingly become a target of racism.

Sinophobic comments and rhetoric are now alarmingly prevalent on the internet and in the real world; new slurs, like “Kung Flu” and the “Chinese Virus” amalgamate the differences between national and ethnic identity. Many Asian businesses throughout the world were boycotted due the pandemic, and East Asians are suffering from threats, violence and hostility while anti-Asian sentiments continue to increase.

Artists like @madame_marilou are one of the many people who use their platforms to spread awareness through their art. The Switzerland-based illustrator posted a digital art piece onto Instagram that sheds light on the issue.

Her art depicts a simple, short-haired woman wearing a mask that states the words, “I Am Not A Virus”, and uses a red violet color palette; it pushes the message that the Asian community should not be discriminated against for the crisis and demonstrates the importance of separating the virus from racial identity.

She states (in French), “This epidemic also reveals more than ever, the ordinary racism that is omnipresent in our world… It is well known that a virus has no nationality, and yet more than ever, people with Asian traits suffer the discriminatory attitude of a world whose fear has forgotten any concept of common sense and intelligence.”.

Art is one of the most influential ways to spread relevant messages in today’s world, and, in this day and age in which we are shaped by the internet, art is shared on social media platforms to bring positive social change in today’s society.

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