Auntie Sewing Squad Combats COVID-19 One Mask at a
What a fun, spirited conversation I had with my guests on the Talking Taiwan podcast- Valerie Soe and Kristina Wong! We could certainly use more conversations like this in this post-COVID-19 world. We talked about the Auntie Sewing Squad, a sewing circle formed during the global Coronavirus pandemic, that has taken on making masks first for frontline medical and essential workers, and now for vulnerable marginalized communities, who have no financial means to purchase masks.
My guests are Valerie Soe, an Asian American Studies Professor and Filmmaker, and Kristina Wong, a performance artist. comedian, writer and elected representative.
Valerie has been on Talking Taiwan previously to talk about her documentary film Love Boat: Taiwan and she recently made a microdocumentary, “Sewing in the Time of Coronavirus,” which incidentally, is how I learned about the Auntie Sewing Squad.
Kristina, is the force behind the Auntie Sewing Squad. She recently streamed a live performance, “Kristina Wong Sweatshop Overlord” over Zoom and YouTube. It’s her latest work born out of the current COVID-19 lockdown, about how she went from volunteer sewist to a “sweatshop” overlord in ten days.
Listen in and enjoy our conversation!
Here’s a little preview of what we talked about in this podcast episode:
- The mission/purpose of the Auntie Sewing Squad
- Why Kristina was initially reluctant to wear a mask herself when the pandemic first hit Los Angeles
- How the Auntie Sewing Squad grew from a dozen members to over 600
- Writing Auntie Rebecca Solnit’s piece for The Guardian which mentions the Auntie Sewing Squad
- “Aunties” located in states other than California
- What funds donated to the Auntie Sewing Squad (via Kristina) used for
- The unfortunate acronym that represents to the Auntie Sewing Squad
- What “Auntie Care” is
- Does Kristina plan on making the Auntie Sewing Squad into a non-profit organization
- The microdocumentary film that Valerie made for A-Doc (Asian American Documentary Network)
- How Kristina helped an LA hospital fix broken N95 masks that were given to them by the Federal government
- Stories about the amazing dedication of the sewing aunties
- How you can support the Auntie Sewing Squad even if you don’t sew
- How much longer the Auntie Sewing Squad will continue sewing masks
- Kristina’s connection to the “Love Boat program”
- Kristina and Valerie’s advice for how to deal with lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic
Listen to my interview with Valerie Soe and Kristina Wong about the Auntie Sewing Squad by clicking HERE
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This post originally appeared on www.TalkingTaiwan.com