I Am Not A Virus

Artwork credit: Red Hong Yi

About

Insults, violence and vandalism – Asian Australians and Asians living in Australia have been subjected to a huge increase in racist incidents since the advent of COVID-19.

Being Asian Australian​ has collected confronting footage of race hate, from a ​whip-cracking attack​ by a man in Sydney to a ​brutal assault​ by a woman at Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market. Meanwhile the ​Australian Human Rights Commission​ reported that one in four people who lodged a racial discrimination complaint in February and March say they were targeted due to the pandemic.

Diversity Arts Australia has partnered with Erin Chew, Being Asian Australia, the Asian Australian Alliance in collaboration with Osmond Chiu and Democracy in Colour to gather reports of Covid19-related racism. We collected 410 stories of xenophobia and abuse, you might have heard about it on The Age, news.com.au, ArtsHub or the ABC. Find out more here.

We’re responding with an artist-led project to confront xenophobia and racism, bust stereotypes and provide a counter-narrative to issues of long-standing racism in Australia that has intensified during Covid-19.

Are you an Asian artist? Create work that responds to Covid-19 racism – APPLY NOW

Why?

COVID-19 racism has targeted people with Chinese and East Asian origins, but any person in Australia of Asian background is susceptible. This project aims to track and monitor racist attacks that are related to the pandemic.

The pandemic is not the cause of racism in Australia, but a symptom of the much larger issue that has afflicted Australia since the 1830s. COVID is being used as an excuse to act upon racist and ignorant agendas by non Asian Australians, the tabloid media and certain Government Ministers.

By gathering stories of race hate we will document and bear witness to this dangerous current in Australian society. We will host an artist-led response to rewrite the narratives, bust racist stereotypes and reassert the reality that Asians have always been an integral part of our nation’s settler history.

Have you experienced COVID-19 driven racism? Tell your story. Around the world, activists and artists are taking a stand against ​#CoronaRacism​.

An Initiative of
Project Supporters
Diversity Arts Australia acknowledges and extends our sincere gratitude and appreciation towards Red Hong Yi for allowing the usage of her artworks on this website. You can view her work at redhongyi.com