Next Time There's a Pandemic
"During my first post-lockdown massage, I willingly engaged in the requisite chit chat about lockdown experiences with my therapist. He gushed behind his mask: 'Oh man. It was so great. Every day I woke up, drank coffee, read, rode my bike'
My therapist's description did sound pretty great. But it was nothing like my own anxiety-ridden ordeal
Had I done the lockdown wrong?"
In Next Time There's a Pandemic, artist Vivek Shraya reflects on how she might have approached 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic differently, and how challenging and changing pervasive expressions, attitudes, and behaviours might transform our experiences of life in—and after—the pandemic. What might happen if, rather than urging one another to "stay safe," we focused instead on being caring? What if, instead of striving to "make the best of it" by doing something, we sometimes chose to do nothing? With generosity, Shraya captures the dissonances of this moment, urging us to keep showing up for each other so we are better prepared for the next time...and for all times.
About the Authors
"Vivek came out as transgender five years ago, and since then, has been a leading activist and changemaker in Canada and around the world, empowering others through her pop music, visual art, and award-winning books." Sean Loughran, Daily Hive, March 31, 2022
# 5 on Edmonton Non-Fiction Bestsellers list, April 10, 2022
# 8 on Edmonton Non-Fiction Bestsellers list, April 24, 2022
# 6 on Edmonton Non-Fiction Bestsellers list, May 8, 2022
# 10 on Edmonton Non-Fiction Bestsellers list, May 15, 2022
"Indeed, these essays test a variety of ideas and genres including memoir writing (taking a first-person retrospective approach); trans writing (infusing her essay with a gender-non-conforming perspective); autotheory (mixing personal experiences with theoretical reflections about language, politics, and economics), and Covid-19 witnessing (detailing the surveillance put into place by local and national governments).... In these deeply personal and embodied reflections, Shraya offers a cultural critique on care, emotion, and labour for a time of crisis.... In the end, Shraya's writing constitutes an act of creative resilience in the face of the difficulties and pain wrought by the pandemic." Irene Gammel and Jason Wang, Canadian Literature, August 21, 2023 [Full article at https://canlit.ca/article/how-to-value-artists-and-people-in-the-pandemic]
"In these deeply personal and embodied reflections, Shraya offers a cultural critique on care, emotion, and labour for a time of crisis."Irene Gammel and Jason Wang, Canadian Literature, August 21, 2023 [Read full review at https://canlit.ca/article/how-to-value-artists-and-people-in-the-pandemic/]
Other Titles from CLC Kreisel Lecture Series
Other Titles in BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / LGBT