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Carrie Mae Weems, RESIST COVID TAKE 6!
RESIST COVID TAKE 6!via Carrie Mae Weems

Carrie Mae Weems’ new public art project is a COVID PSA for POC communities

‘RESIST COVID TAKE 6!’ raises awareness about how the pandemic disproportionately impacts People Of Colour

Artist Carrie Mae Weems has released a new public art initiative titled RESIST COVID TAKE 6! in Syracuse, New York – where she lives and is currently the artist in residence at Syracuse University – to raise awareness about the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on People Of Colour.

To date, more than 117,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the US. However, People Of Colour are three times more likely to die from the virus than white people.

RESIST COVID TAKE 6! promotes preventative measures, such as wearing face masks and social distancing (the ‘TAKE 6’ of the project’s title relates to the recommended six-feet distance between people), addresses falsehoods around the virus, and celebrates frontline and essential workers. 

The first phase of RESIST COVID TAKE 6! will see billboards unveiled in targeted city neighbourhoods. Mae Weems will then broadcast a series of PSAs on local radio stations and social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Alongside this, ephemera such as buttons, posters, flyers, shopping bags, hand fans, magnets, door hangers, will be available at food banks, COVID-19 testing sites, churches, and community centres in Syracuse’s Black, Latino, and Native neighbourhoods.

“We’ve all been impacted by COVID-19. It’s an ecological health crisis of epic proportion – an international disaster,” writes Mae Weems on Social Studies 101. “And yet we have indisputable evidence that People Of Colour have been disproportionately impacted. The death tolls in these communities are staggering. This fact affords the nation an unprecedented opportunity to address the impact of social and economic inequality in real-time. Denial does not solve a problem.”

While Mae Weems is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work expands installation, film, audio, text, and more, she is widely celebrated for her photographic work, such as The Kitchen Table series (1996), which tells the story of a woman’s life as she is photographed at her kitchen table.