Bio & Statement
Jayashree Samal is a designer based in Washington, DC. Although she is a designer by profession, she is a painter at heart. Her artistic journey had many turns. Her earlier work of art focused on Indian women and their struggles. Later on, it expanded to universal women’s issues. Her work examines unique facets of women’s vulnerability and triumphs.
Growing up in India I have been exposed to overcrowded slum dwellings. I wanted to address their struggles for basic necessities. How can they protect themselves from COVID when don't have access to water, sanitation, and housing.
"Hopes and Struggles in Urban Slums"
The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed our lives. It has affected all segments of people disproportionally. The most vulnerable groups are the Urban slums around the globe. Their greatest vulnerabilities stem from the lack of the most basic public services: access to clean water and sanitation. Slum-dwellers are at high risk of severe disease outcomes because of the higher transmissibility of the disease.
The economic impact is far more devastating. Over-crowding in slums makes physical distancing and self-quarantine impractical. Slum-dwellers often live from hand to mouth. Enforced isolation won’t just lead to diminished quality of life, it will cause starvation. Governments have failed to provide clean water and sewage coverage. The global risks embedded in the unsanitary conditions are now coming back to bite humanity.
My illustration depicts woman’s struggle and protests against Govt enforced measures. The sanctions are a distant reality when people’s daily existence is at risk. Simple preventive measures are questionable when people fight for food for their families. At the core of this catastrophe, there is fear, anxiety, and depression. Still, people in the slums continued their hope and dream of better living conditions. Growing up in India has exposed me to overcrowded slum dwellings and their struggle for necessities. How can they protect themselves from COVID in the face of this never-ending struggle for life?