Welcome to the Accessible Gallery
Welcome to Asians*Unmasked: A PhotoVoice Project highlighting stories of Asian American, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders during the time of COVID-19. The project was created by a small group of Asian American women from across the United States, who wanted to address the mental health impact of COVID-19. The emotional stress was caused by not only health and economic concerns but also the rising ant-Asian sentiment from those who blame Asians for the pandemic. The project was launched in May 2020 in acknowledgment of May as both Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month. AANHPIs around the country were invited to submit photographs and answer three questions: 1) How would you describe your image to someone who may be visually impaired; 2) What does your image mean to you and 3) Based on your COVID-19 experience, what changes would you like to see in the world around you?
Photographs are organized into seven mini-galleries. We invite you to move through the gallery in any order but they are organized in a way that tells a story, starting with the changes in our lives and moving to its impact and concluding with ways we can make positive change. Click on the images to learn more about each story and what it means. This is just the beginning of our journey. The gallery reflects photos submitted during May and early June but we invite you to share your stories as we will continue to accept submissions until the end of the year. This is an extraordinary time in our lives and we want to chronicle the historic events of 2020 that are seeing a global health crisis, economic uncertainty, a revolution for Black lives, and a historic Presidential election.
Our intent is to use the images to not only tell our stories but to use them to advocate for issues that matter to us, be it better mental health services that are responsive to the cultural and language needs of the community, identifying ways of healing and finding joy, assessing the “new norm” that reflects social distancing, being advocates for social justice and allies in Black Lives Matter, voting, and the census. Please join us and add your story.
COVID-19 brought changes at all levels, be it the individual, community, national or global levels. Some were profound, others were less life altering but important nonetheless.
It can be argued that health and mental health is reflected throughout all the galleries. The images in this gallery, however, most directly reflect the health and mental health impact of coronavirus.
2020 tested the world in unprecedented ways. Many of the images reflected the power of resilience, humor, and creativity, of tapping into our inner strength, spirituality, and finding pride and support in our heritage.
WAYS TO CHANGE THE WORLD
-CALLS TO ACTION
Photographers were also asked to reflect on ways they would like their world to change. Some provided specific actions such as change in leadership, improved communication, improving the healthcare system, and finding better ways to address mental health.