A video essay, #QuarantineLooks: Embracing the Fabulously Mundane, by Sami Schalk who creates pleasure activism during a global pandemic.
How does the pleasure of living in a crip body exist as both resistance and activism?
Live illustrations by MK Czerwiec, video essay by Sami Schalk, conversation with Jina B. Kim
How does disability create knowledge essential to surviving a global pandemic? One answer: joy. As an act of pleasure activism and self-care during the pandemic lockdown, Schalk began posting images of herself on social media with sparkly new hairstyles, outfits, and facemasks. The act of dressing up to handle ordinary tasks such as walking the dog or taking out the trash sparked delight and connection with strangers and friends. In her words, “joy begets joy begets joy.” Schalk’s #QuarantineLooks embraces the lushness of her “fat Black femme” body; challenges what depression looks like; and interrogates what it means to look well or unwell.
Chapter 2 of Indisposable: Structure of Support After the ADA debuted a video essay by Schalk, followed by a conversation with Jina B. Kim, a fellow disability studies scholar and maker of quarantine looks.
The event was documented with live illustration by MK Czerwiec, click here to download the PDF of the live illustrations.
Click below to watch the full event video of Chapter 2:
Click below to watch Sami Schalk’s #QuarantineLooks: Embracing the Fabulously Mundane:
Sami Schalk is an associate professor of Gender & Women’s Studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses on disability, race, and gender in contemporary American literature and culture. Schalk’s first book, Bodyminds Reimagined: (Dis)ability, Race, & Gender in Black Women’s Speculative Fiction (Duke UP 2018), explores how black women writers use non-realist genres to reimagine the possibilities and limits of bodyminds, challenging our understanding of the meanings of disability, race, and gender. Schalk’s next project focuses on disability politics in black activism in the post-Civil Rights era. She identifies as a fat, black, queer, femme, disabled cis-gendered woman. She can be found on Twitter as @drsamischalk and on her website, samischalk.com
Jina B. Kim is an Assistant Professor of English Language & Literature and of the Study of Women & Gender at Smith College. Kim received her doctorate in English and women’s studies from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and her bachelor’s in studio art and English from Agnes Scott College. She specializes in feminist disability studies, women-of-color feminisms/queer-of-color critique and contemporary ethnic U.S. literatures with an emphasis on feminist-of-color writing and cultural expression post-1968. Prior to joining Smith College, she was a Consortium for Faculty Diversity postdoctoral fellow at Mount Holyoke College in the program in critical social thought. She is currently at work on a manuscript, tentatively titled Dreaming of Infrastructure: Crip-of-Color Imaginaries after the U.S. Welfare State, which examines political and aesthetic engagements with public dependency discourse in the literary-cultural afterlife of 1996 U.S. welfare reform.
MK Czerwiec, RN, MA is a nurse, cartoonist, educator, and co-founder of the field of Graphic Medicine. She is the creator of Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371, a co-author of Graphic Medicine Manifesto and editor of Menopause: A Comic Treatment. She is Artist-in-Residence at Northwestern’s Center for Medical Humanities and Bioethics. MK has served as a Senior Fellow of the George Washington School of Nursing Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement, and a Will Eisner Fellow in Applied Cartooning at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, VT. MK is also the comics editor for the journal Literature & Medicine. www.comicnurse.com