Lindsay Siu, Photographer, Vancouver
This pandemic has been an intensely scary and stressful time for everyone. And, as if an unprecedented health and economic crisis wasn't enough, we’ve also seen our society crack open and expose its most shameful parts.
Creatively, It’s been difficult to find my rhythm. Without my usual work routine, there have been lots of starts and stops, making it difficult to decide the right thing to do or say. Early on, feeling a need to balance the heaviness of isolation with the beauty of being closer with my children each day, I shot a series depicting my family’s everyday life during the lockdown.
Next, I was inspired to explore the rise of anti-Asian racism seen across North America (and that I recently experienced) through my work. But just as we started the planning, Black Lives Matter protests began. So I held back, feeling that it wasn't the right time to focus on my personal experiences of racial slurs and gestures directed towards me, not physical violence.
As I spent time listening and learning, I recognized the critical role Asians could play in the Black Lives Matter movement. By understanding that both my experience with racism and my relative privilege are based on the lived experiences of people of colour before me, and by exploring the power that sharing our experiences can bring, I would be standing in solidarity with Black and Indigenous communities.
The inspiration is everywhere. While the stories we see around us may be uncomfortable, if not heartbreaking and scary, they are intertwined with stories of love, sacrifice, endurance and hope. There is beauty to be found in these dark times, and I hope by seeking it out we use it to help push humanity forward.
In our industry, we must acknowledge the power our words and our gaze hold, and use it to inspire, educate, and continue to create a more just and inclusive world.
It won't happen overnight, but if there's ever been a time to step outside your front door and begin to enact change, that time is now.