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I Am Not a Virus

“Inspired by recent events, Korean-Swedish artist Lisa Wool-Rim Sjöblom is addressing the hostility Asians increasingly are facing during the COVID-19 global pandemic in a series of one-panel comics.” Read more about her art here:


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Be careful what you wish for … I’ve been complaining for decades about the lack of representation of East Asians in the West. I’ve been feeling neglected and overlooked. Well, not anymore. I’ve never felt more visible and monitored than now, and everywhere I look I see pictures of Asian people: Asians portrayed as sick, as infectious, as harbingers of death. Western media seems unable to publish any sort of news articles covering the coronavirus without decorating it with images of East Asians. Even when the article is about the spread of the virus in for example Sweden, whose Asian population is tiny. Sadly, the other type of articles featuring Asians now are the ones who bring up the often violent racism against people who look or are Chinese. As painful as it is, I’m glad that these hate crimes get coverage though, as racially charged abuse against us usually goes unnoticed or is labelled as something other than racism. Social media is of course overflowing with memes and videos of East and Southeast Asians where we are portrayed as everything from evil, disgusting and unhygienic people who eat anything that moves to being ridiculously cautious wearing huge plastic bottles on our heads. Even people who label themselves “anti racist” are happily sharing this type of imagery now with the excuse that they’ve no intention of harming anyone – the very same excuse they usually disqualify when calling out other people for sharing racist content. I’ve spent most of my life wishing I was white, something I’ve been glad to say I’ve moved on from. Now, however, I wish I was invisible instead. #IAmNotAVirus

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Artist: Lisa Wool-Rim Sjöblom | Instagram: chung.woolrim