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Re:Locations Symposium 2020

Resilience & Disaster: The Global South during COVID-19

Register now to receive information about the Re:Locations 2020 symposium: Resilience and Disaster: The Global South During COVID-19
About this event:

“It has been crystal clear from the beginning that the COVID-19 pandemic is far more than a medical crisis.”

“This is the time for facts, not fear. This is the time for science, not rumors. This is the time for solidarity, not stigma,”

“As social scientists, we fear that such dangerous narratives are encouraging racism and hate by portraying vulnerable populations as virulent carriers, rather than victims worthy of empathy and sympathy. This applies of course to Western/global media coverage of an “exotic” disease arising from dirty and distant lands. But crucially, we want to point out how this othering of mainland Chinese people is also painfully felt within and among Asian countries, as social tensions in the region have escalated in response to China’s political and economic aggressions.”

  • Jonathan Corpus Ong and Gideon Lasco, LSE

COVID-19 is a public health crisis occurring on a global scale. It has caused widespread suffering and disruption, and in the process, it has exacerbated existing inequalities; strengthened networks of solidarity; birthed new crises; devastated economies, altered  politics at local, national, and international levels; and, more. In these ways, the virus is a disaster that has given rise to complex and uncertain transformations, but it has also led to a great display of resiliency, with different states, communities, and individuals adapting to and resisting this disaster. The global spread has laid bare the need for critical engagement with cross-disciplinary, cross-national, and cross-cultural dialogues. Re:Locations – Journal of Asia and the Pacific World, at the University of Toronto, Canada, is hosting an online weekly symposium in November 2020 that explores the far-reaching and extensive effects of the pandemic in the Global South.

Media coverage of the pandemic is playing an important role in COVID-19 response. The dominant mainstream coverage of the Global South in the West has been marred with misinformation, stigma, racism, sensationalism, and rhetoric of blame and shame. For example, early in the Coronavirus outbreak, before the scientific name of the virus entered the global lexicon, many media outlets referred to it as the “Wuhan Virus.” This wording tended towards stigmatizing people from that region, having the (un)intended consequence of stoking Sinophobia and anti-Asian fear and violence. We want to create a space that challenges these narratives and presents critical and progressive scholarship on the impact of COVID-19 in the Global South.

Featuring Keynote addresses by:

Ethel Tungohan, Canada Research Chair in Canadian Migration Policy

Jonathan Corpus Ong, Associate Professor of Global Digital Media at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst

Gideon Lasco, senior lecturer at the University of the Philippines Diliman’s Department of Anthropology and research fellow at the Ateneo de Manila University’s Development Studies Program