Between Boxes: A Graphic Recording

Centre for Research in Cultural Studies (CRiCS)

Banner image featuring the series title with a graffiti painted face mask.

Amanda Carvalho

December 7, 2020

This is an experimental auto-ethnographic work based on my subjective experience as a migrant woman of colour living in complete isolation, away from family and friends during COVID-19. It speaks to the overlap between themes of cultural geographies, social distancing, and pandemic affects, or the psychic life of COVID-19. 

Once again, I discover my displaced body limited, enclosed, immovable. A different kind of displacementshared but incommensurable. Between the white walls and the white windows, I find myself locked in a boxnot the one I have been placed into before, but a new kind of box, with new implications for the already diasporic body I inhabit. How far can a body depart from somewhere? How far can a body be positioned from another? How much space can the boxes within my boxes distance me from the people surrounding me? Is there enough distance? The shared distancing might bring us together, but the distances within the distances become even more evident. This felt, embodied distance is not the same felt, embodied distance that displaced bodies experience. What already separates us persists regardless of the physical space we occupy. Nevertheless, I am privileged. I get to live in this immaculate space between the white walls and the white windows. Outside the windows, I fit into the boxes chosen for me. Within the box created between these windows and walls, I establish a new kind of space. A space in which my gaze can look back at the current distant white gazes beyond the white walls and the white windows. No one is watching.

Amanda Carvalho is a Brazilian designer. She has recently graduated from the curatorial practices stream of the MA in Cultural Studies at The University of Winnipeg. Her research interests involve exploring intersections between design thinking, visual cultures, performance, and creative methodologies as decolonizing tools. 

Written and narrated by Amanda Carvalho

Directed and illustrated by Devon Kerslake

Audio/video edited by Lauren Bosc

With consultation from Angela Failler

The banner image was designed by Lauren Bosc, adapted from an image by Adam Nieścioruk on Unsplash. This video was created with financial support from CRiCS and the University of Winnipeg, as well as through the Canada Research Chair program with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

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