[Note: The conversations have been edited for clarity, length, and grammatical mistakes. They have also been edited thematically, however the dates of these utterances are noted above each section.]
16 April 2020
Sanaz: In order to fully grasp our current situation, we have to use different perspectives ,and situate them vis-à-vis a historical backdrop. In the case of the United States, where I currently am,the nationlistic/media response is extremely militarized. For instance, all the pandemic-related death cases are compared to those of 9/11 instead of, for example, the HIV pandemic which was a total disaster with the way it was handled by the US government. Thousands of people also have died due to the inaction of the government with the lobbied protection of pharmaceutical companies during the Opioid Crisis. It is really interesting if we connect our experience with the ones that have been historicised and institutionalized, and see what examples have been used (nationally). In the case of the US, they are always tethering COVID to a recent war, there is no other example used to contextualize COVID There has barely been a mention of other pandemics or epidemics or public health crises, rather the state and the media tend to exemplify US military interventions and invasions for the American public. There is always a move to project our post-pandemic futures with these mediated histories pulled into our current conversations.
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The Graduate Teach-in Group, 2020