Being of South-East Asian background growing up in Australia, these types of comments are not something unfamiliar to me. I have grappled with race and culture many times and I expect that battle to continue long into the future. It’s not the comparisons that bother me. It’s not about the person I’m being compared to. It’s the fact that I’m even being compared. That I’m not me, but rather I am reduced to how I look or who I resemble. I don’t get to define myself anymore. That’s the part that bothers me. After all, it happens to everyone, right? It is the casual nature of these comments which makes it so problematic. It has become so normalised and so easy to dismiss that I don’t feel like I have a choice to even bring it up.
COVID-19 has prompted a renewed awareness of how we use our bodies under “normal” circumstances. COVID-19 is also demanding that we change our bodily behaviors to prevent the spread of the pandemic. This entails both transforming existing techniques and learning new ones. These hygienic practices are all part of a particular set of bodily techniques that Marcel Mauss called “care of the body,” or prescribed, everyday physical acts that serve to maintain the well-being of individuals and to affirm their belonging within broader social communities.
Yesterday, I started an email to my supervisor with the opener “I am wearing shoes today and it seems to make me more productive. How’s it going in your kitchen-office?”
Given the recently instigated social distancing rules in Canberra, this week we bring you a special “online” episode! For the safety of everyone, and especially in line with our own efforts to flatten the curve, we recorded this panel from the comfort of our own homes using the increasingly popular online video conferencing tool: Zoom. … Continue reading Ep #56: Imagined Communities, Freedom, Death and not blaming Capitalism: This month on TFS