The En Foco Pandemic Response Forum was created to offer artists the opportunity to navigate their own experiences with the pandemic in a safe space created for artists by artists. To create and foster a community of affected peoples in the current epicenter of the pandemic. As we, a global community, continue to navigate and work to redefine what society should be, it’s important to create spaces for those who have been affected. We’ve invited photographers Kayla LimNik AntonioMonique Islam, Kasey-Lynn RodriguezGioncarlo ValentineCourtney GarvinPatricia Ellah,  Elias RischmauiArgenis Apolinario, and Sandra Ayala to participate in the forum, share their experiences, and offer their truths about navigating the pandemic. Their personal narratives cover a range of experiences and begin to elaborate on the reality of life in the age of the coronavirus.

We stand on the precipice of cultural and societal change. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected millions across the global community and has proven itself to be not only a health issue but a socio-economic and political issue. Underlying systems of oppression have been highlighted as many communities of Black and Brown folks struggle to survive from threats of illness, over-policing, food and housing insecurities, and the lack of access to medical care and insurance. While these issues are not new for those of us familiar with life in these communities, COVID-19 has sparked a new wave of demand for equity. 

The experiences highlighted in this companion exhibition to the current issue of Nueva Luz are a small reflection of a larger pool of folks navigating this transition into a new global community. These artists have faced unique challenges adapting to the new reality of life in lockdown. With many having to encounter the glaring disparity of needing to social distance, continue working to support themselves and their families, and the ineffectiveness of the governmental systems in place to support us in times of crisis. 

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