Coping During Covid-19
Our team at Peace is Loud is committed to centering the stories of those most directly impacted by Covid-19 and those fighting to create a sustainable future. For more information on how to support and uplift those that are disproportionately affected by this pandemic, follow Peace is Loud on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
During these times, it’s critically important to prioritize our physical, mental and emotional well-being. While we’re all wishing to be together right now, our team is connecting by sharing our favorite reads, shows, and films with each other. We wanted to pass that information on to you.
Here are the books and shows that have been keeping us grounded while we face a global pandemic. We hope you’ll enjoy our recommendations!
I’m digging the “Vampire Diaries” spinoff Legacies. It’s a boarding school where teen vampires, witches, and werewolves struggle to come to terms with their powers — without hurting anyone. There’s something really soothing about magical shows on fighting supernatural evil. Feels so much more manageable than real life right now. And they explore meaningful topics like coming out to your family, believing in yourself, struggling with bipolar disorder and codependency. And the three main girls do a lot of kicking ass & saving the world, which is deeply gratifying.
I’m in love with Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. It’s a sci-fi series inspired by Nigerian mythology, set in an imaginary, alternate country in Africa. A place where magic has been forbidden, and those who were once healers and leaders are imprisoned and killed. It has no easy answers but explores systems of oppression, how hard it is to stand up to authority, what it takes to lead, and who has a say in the future.
And I watched Same God, a documentary featuring Dr. Larycia Hawkins – a Christian professor at an Evangelical school, who wore a hijab in an act of solidarity with the Muslim community that was being persecuted in the media as terrorists. Her story is one of grace and dignity in the fallout of her actions, and she poses challenging questions about what it means to be in embodied solidarity. Not just by signing an online petition, or tweeting support, but in actually putting your body in the line of fire. She speaks so eloquently and passionately about her faith, and what it means to her to be a Christian.
My quarantine recommendation … a sweet & soulful pairing of The Good Place and Richard Rohr’s daily meditation on liminal space.
The Good Place is the kind of show that’s hard to talk about without spoiling the plot. What I’ll say is that the story acknowledges the invisible ways that systems mistreat people — and we see that when people are given the openness (and support) they need, they can do better.
This is where Richard Rohr’s meditation comes in. He writes about liminal space as a place “betwixt and between”, a graced time that often does not feel graced in any way, as our former way of being is constantly challenged and nothing is certain or in our control. Yet, he writes, there is opportunity and openness in liminal space that allows room for something genuinely new to happen. “We are empty and receptive—erased tablets waiting for new words. Liminal space is where we are most teachable, often because we are most humbled.”
Director of Audience Development & Digital Strategy
In a time where the news is overwhelming and often horrifying, Jenny Slate’s memoir-in-essays, Little Weirds, is one book I’ve been revisiting. It reminds me it’s okay to be tender and gentle in a world that can make you callous, and to see and celebrate the strangeness of ourselves and those around us.
Film Campaign Manager
The Future of Film is Female – a nonprofit dedicated to the production, exhibition, and promotion of women-directed films – launched their online streaming programming in April, featuring wonderful short films by women. Personal recommendations of mine are Edgecombe by Crystal Kayiza and The Send-Off by Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan. Swoon all around.
Knock Down the House is now streaming on YouTube! The doc is more relevant than ever, highlighting the importance of grassroots organizing and political representation – COVID has stressed every fissure of social inequity in our country, and the collective power of our communities will be crucial in the fights ahead.
Poetry Project’s House Party – For decades the Poetry Project has lived at the radical crossroads of poetry and community organizing – their new performance and publication series is an incredible display of literature in active solidarity not to be missed.
Screenings and Outreach Coordinator
Harry Potter (books and movies)
The Harry Potter series is so comforting to me. It reminds me of being small and filled with wonder, wishing I too was a witch who could attend Hogwarts. When I’m faced with uncertainty, I retreat back to these books and films. Harry was too thrown into a whole new world that was filled with danger. In each book, with a little help from his friends, he defeats a portion of the darkness out there. I like to think about that – Harry didn’t defeat Voldemort once and for all in book one. He took on the darkness in small bits, one at a time. That’s what I think about when I get overwhelmed: I don’t have to defeat this uncertainty all at once. One step at a time.
What We Do In the Shadows
This show is based on the film (by the same name) by Oscar winner Taika Watiti and Jermaine Clement. It follows the ridiculous life of three incompetent vampires living in current day Staten Island. This show is purely silly and always pulls me out of my quarantine anxiety.
A Secret Love
I haven’t watched this yet but I CANNOT wait to. This moving film tells the story of two women who have lived their lives together as lovers and partners completely in secret for over 60 years. In their golden years, they come out to their families and society as a couple. Everyone I know who has seen this film says it is a love story for the ages. Even the trailer makes me cry! Watch this if you want to be reminded that love truly does conquer all.
EMILY DEL CARMEN RAMIREZ
Digital Engagement Coordinator
The collection of stories that has stuck with me since early this year and that I reread during quarantine is Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez. This is one of the best collections of short stories that I’ve read in a while. From the get-go, Enriquez captivates her reader with the first short story in this collection, “The Dirty Boy.” It’s about a little boy who is homeless and sleeps on a mattress outside of the protagonist’s home in the neighborhood of Constitucion in Argentina and one day ends up missing. Enriquez sets the scene and then you are warped in by her fantastical pen with a magical-realism-meets-horror-medley. My second favorite story of the collection was “Adela’s House” because it permeates an eeriness that seeps into your bones while you’re reading it, sympathizing with Pablo and understanding why he did what he did. You see how brilliant Enriquez is when creating characters because what they think are thoughts that you would think yourself. And despite the horror and raunchiness of the storylines, Enriquez manages to be funny at the same damn time. My imagination was on fire. You’re literally sucked into these stories and characters. Think Edgar Allen Poe meets Scary Stories meets American Horror Story (watch the last season, 1984, that recently came out by the way), but with a Latino feel to it. It chills the bones even more, especially if you speak Spanish and can pick up on the words without translation. I can’t wait to continue reading more of Enriquez’s work. I highly recommend it!
I’ve also been reading Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere and matching it to the Hulu series based on the book. The sociopolitical issues it touches on are interesting, but I haven’t finished enough to formulate a complete opinion. They’re both extremely addictive renditions so I recommend you read and watch them both for some entertainment!