#unmaskedselfiesinsolidarity was originally create as a creative response to the primary Wuhan outbreak of COVID-19 in January 2020. At the time, many of our international students at RMIT University were self-isolating at home in China or Melbourne when the travel bans began. At the same time, many of us began to feel the emotional toll of the new global health crisis and the racism that had emerged in everyday life. In just over two weeks, more than 300 selfies were contributed to the online Facebook project by students, staff and the wider community of the university.
A 'pasteup wall' was installed at the RMIT University campus in Melbourne in Building 2 with an ancillary exhibition hung in the Rey Area Gallery in Building 24. Our team has now grown to a curatorium of eight individuals including staff and students from across the School of Art, Architecture & Urban Design, and Media & Communications. It has become an expansive and rhizomatic project with new iterations and forms continuing to develop including shoot off exhibitions and publishing.
The project rebooted in April 2020 to reflect on the situation of Stage 3 restrictions in Melbourne, Victoria, which has limited our access to everyday public activity with students and staff learning and teaching remotely.
The project is archived on the School of Art website but is still active on social media (Facebook). No matter where you are from, you are welcome to join our participatory project by submitting a selfie and a message of connection or hope to document this moment in time.
Badham, M., Wong Hulbert, T., Lanson, K., Liu Y., Yeung, C., Sze, W, 2020, #unmaskedselfiesinsolidarity,
RMIT University, Melbourne.