Connection Unstable

History is now: Covid 19 Blog.

History is now: Covid 19 Blog.

History is now.

Real Community Stories from the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis


We are living in a historic moment. The Minnesota Historical Society is collecting and preserving Minnesotans’ stories related to the COVID-19 health crisis so future generations can learn how the pandemic has impacted our lives. We invite you to read a sampling of these stories here.

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Connection Unstable

By: Public contributor | July 2, 2020

This crisis has been devastating for all people worldwide. I have seen illness, pain, sadness, and economic crisis, while at the same time witnessing the very best in humanity, collective resiliency, and innovation. As an Asian American living in the US, I have seen racism, hate and violence increase as a result of dangerous rhetoric against Asian people across the world. It is important for people to come together to dismantle hate and support each other in this difficult time in our history. I have done my best as an individual to adapt to the pandemic, support my community, speak out against racism, and share hope.

One way I have done this is through a photo project documenting friends and families in quarantine. We have been inundated with images of empty streets and dystopian photos that have resulted from this pandemic. I wanted to archive the experiences of people, how people are navigating the changes that have been forced upon us, and to share intimate stories of hope from the intimacy of their homes. By shooting photos through windows, I have added a layer of imagery, replicating double exposure photography, while reiterating the separation between each other during social distancing. In addition to photographs, all subjects have shared written words about their experience, with stories ranging from somber to hopeful, all while telling their individual truth.

Together with artist Leslie Barlow, we have created a quarantine zine, “Connection Unstable.” It contains paintings by Leslie and photographs by myself, Ryan Stopera, combined with social media references, drawings, articles, and other ephemera, creating an archive of current personal and collective experiences during the COVID-19 era.

~ Submitted by artists Ryan Stopera and Leslie Barlow