Diseases have long been used to rationalize xenophobia. As the U.S. struggles to combat a global pandemic that has claimed more than 180,000 Americans, President Donald Trump, who has referred to COVID-19 as the Chinese virus and the kung flu, has helped normalize pandemic-fueled racism, and anti-Asian attacks.
In collaboration with TIME, photographer Haruka Sakaguchi documented the stories of ten New York-based Asian Americans, who share their experiences of racism during the pandemic, and how their perspectives have been shaped by recent Black Lives Matter protests. The resulting project combines first-person accounts with virtual portraits, laid atop photographs of the locations where they were harassed.
Featuring: Haruka Sakaguchi
Curated by: Sangsuk Sylvia Kang
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Haruka Sakaguchi is a Japanese documentary photographer based in Brooklyn. She was born in Osaka, Japan, and immigrated to the U.S. with her parents when she was three months old.
Haruka’s documentary work focuses on cultural identity and sense of place, and has been published by The New York Times, National Geographic, TIME, The New Yorker, Newsweek, PDN, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed, and more. Her project 1945 was on display at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway, from November 2017 through November 2018.
TIME is a global media brand that reaches a combined audience of more than ninety million around the world. A trusted destination for reporting and insight, TIME’s mission is to tell the stories that matter most, to lead conversations that change the world, and to deepen understanding of the ideas and events that define our time.
Reported by Anna Purna Kambhampaty.
EDUCATION DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
What emotions do you see in these portraits?
Why do you think these individuals shared their stories?
How do you think these images were made?
What are the limitations of a portrait?