The IDA B. WELLS Just Data Lab welcomed newly appointed Artist-in-Residence, Chanika Svetvilas, whose work focuses on mental health difference and the impact of the inequity of access to care. An artist and cultural worker, Svetvilas is interested in using narrative as a way to challenge stereotypes in contemporary society and to create safe spaces.
Svetvilas will embark on “Anonymous was the Data,” a project that surveys the mental health and healthcare needs of Asian American Pacific Islanders. The project explores the relationships between mental health difference, generational trauma, and healthcare access. The resulting data will be transformed into an interactive installation at the Lewis Center for the Arts in September 2023 and will include a workshop, artist talks, and a panel discussion.
Svetvilas’ residency is hosted by the Department of African American Studies and the IDA B. WELLS Just Data Lab, and co-sponsored by the Humanities Council, the Program in Asian American Studies, the Center for Health & Wellbeing, the Council for Science and Technology, the Effron Center for the Study of America, the Lewis Center for the Arts, and the Office of Disability Services.
The IDA B. WELLS Just Data Lab, created by Ruha Benjamin (African American Studies) and housed in the Department of African American Studies, brings together students, educators, activists, and artists to develop a critical and creative approach to data conception, production, and circulation. The lab shared educational resources through The Pandemic Portal, which analyzed COVID-19’s racial dimensions and received support from a 2020 Rapid Response Magic Grant of the Humanities Council.