When the pandemic hit our communities hard in March, I went to work and created this illustration, highlighting the ways in which activists and organizers immediately sprung into action, emphasizing mask-wearing, dropping off groceries to elders and immunocompromised people, and donating to mutual aid efforts. As we find ourselves still living within a horrific pandemic that has claimed the lives of over 1 million people worldwide (213,000 in the U.S.), it’s still critical to our communities’ survival to practice safety precautions, especially when we’re in the streets demanding justice for Black lives.
In conjunction with the National Week of Mourning and Signs, Shrines, Collages, and a Mixtape: A Remote COVID Vigil in Chicago, I collaborated with 5 artists and 5 organizations to curate a series of posters highlighting what it means to “keep each other safe” in the streets. As our week of mourning is coming to an end, I am reminded of my friend Mariame Kaba’s words to me when planning an exhibition on 100 years of police violence in Chicago a few years ago. How will you move people to action after they experience art that will no doubt fill them with anger, sadness, and grief? There is no doubt there will be more losses. How do you give people tangible actions to make a difference in that weight of loss?