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Semrau, Sabre, "Multimodal Reflections VI - Sabre Semrau - Week 11" (2020). COVID-19 Reflections: A Multimodal Oral History Project (ANTH 449). Paper 13.
My vlogs and oral histories reflect the experiences of college students during the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic, with a particular focus on how these shifting circumstances have impacted our individual activist pursuits, mental health, and view of politics, as well as the international political situation itself. Activism has had a digital component since the advent of the internet, and arguably has been bolstered and proliferated like never before through social media channels that make it universally accessible at some level. However, there has never before been a time when activists have had to primarily rely on digital means to facilitate organizing. Having to facilitate and participate in activities in an intangible realm, like the internet, where we are physically distanced from our comrades, and limited as to what physical actions we can feasibly take, has reshaped how we approach campaigns, build solidarity and the movement, and motivate ourselves to keep going. Burnout is much harder to avoid in isolation, and so I sought to evaluate how our mental health has been affected, both due to our activist work, and the general situation. The knowledge that these dire circumstances are hurting everyone across the world, especially vulnerable populations, is hard to cope with on its own. The added stresses of school, work, loneliness, concerns about the health and safety of our families and friends, daily responsibilities we have as living beings, and everything else we are facing only exacerbate our strife. How do we find light amidst the dark? How do we push forward when the future seems to hold nothing but death and destruction? How do we keep hope alive in our hearts, and the hearts of our fellow humans? I believe this pandemic has shown us the importance of solidarity and togetherness. If we cannot be together in person, we find a way. Only by helping our own communities and building outside of the oppressive structures of society can we guarantee true liberation and intersectional equity for all peoples.