Public Arts Health & Us (PAHUS)
Bridging Artists, Academics & Audiences for a Common Communication Language
Resilience of New York through a monochromatic lens
Earlier this year, New York City was hit hard by the pandemic that has now engulfed the
entire world. Following the massive discussions, arguments, and debates between various
stakeholders in the administration, the city witnessed a complete lockdown barring essential
businesses.Almost parallel to the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter Movement further triggered the
quarantine-struck state of New Yorkers. People participated in BLM protests advocating for the
rights of people of color and the city underwent a massive makeover.
With the privileged New Yorkers abandoning their upper-east-side residences for holiday
homes in the Hamptons, the city was repeatedly referred to as a ghost-town. There were pieces in
the New York Times with headings like ‘Is New York City over?’
However, the urban jungle often has a way of adapting through the resilience of its
structures and, more importantly, its people. New York City Art scene is not just restricted to the
murals and graffiti, it applies to life itself.
As Charles Darwin beautifully explained survival of the fittest in evolutionary biology,
New York demonstrated it in the times of Corona.
Without losing on its essence, the city adapted to a new normal.
So, the night clubs on Saturday Night were replaced by cars with large boomboxes
vibrating the city’s floor with ‘Here I go again’ by Whitesnake played on full volume. The crowd
of protestors gathered on the city’s avenues were replaced by a community of cyclists circling
Bryant Park as they all yelled ‘Black Lives Matter’ in full synchrony. Zoom hangouts turned to
movie dates. And restaurants opened outside. The exchange of smiles was replaced with the
exchange of happy glances through wrinkly eyes.
The city evolved but still remained the same. The Covid19 cases plateaued, then peaked
again. Like all other cities grappling with the virus, New York is still in recovery mode. The city
needs time to heal, but there is a thing or two one could still learn from New York.
Maybe how to survive. Or maybe how to live.
Photo Credits : Rachita Ramya Singh , New York
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