From the research process: Pictures above were taken at COVID-19 Care facility, Kyoto Heian Hotel in May and July 2020.  More than 100 patients stayed in this hotel Since April 2020. Because of discrimination against the COVID-19 patients, no one appeared to the media. I was allowed to shot the picture of the rooms where they stayed.   

Portfolio of ongoing project

COVID-19  "Silent Pain" by Kazuma Obara

*Pictures and Video were taken from research process from May 2020

Project statement

This project will documents the human story of the unseen essential workers and patients of COVID-19 in Japan. Since the pandemic, people's fear of infection has led to discrimination against those fighting for our safety and are most vulnerable to the threat of infection. Many health care workers quit their jobs from the anxiety of said discrimination. Some infected patients faced difficulty returning home after recovering and were forced to relocate. Now, many are left stigmatised and forced into silence to avoid problems, despite the mental toll and support they need from society.

 

The Japanese press has focused primarily on the number of infected people,  but the stories of people who make up that number are rarely told. This lack of real human stories has led to miscommunication within communities and created a divide between those on the frontline and those who are not.  

 

Using still images and video, I will record the voices and capture the humanity in Horikawa Hospital, one of the iconic hospitals fighting COVID-19 that became a target of discrimination within its region. Through their story, exists the opportunity to understand the voice and humanity of people fighting on the frontlines and re-unite the people of their community. As pandemic histories show, viruses bring about various discrimination. I hope the project fosters inter-community understanding and solidarity, not only in Japan but also in the other regions across the world.

Project Plan

 

I will document nurses and patients in Horikawa Hospital in Kyoto, Japan. The hospital became the first case of nosocomial COVID-19 infection in Kyoto and faced serious bashing regionally and nationally through social media. According to a survey by the hospital, 60 percent of healthcare workers in the hospital experienced serious discrimination after news of the infection. Until now, no one has been revealed to the media.

 

With support from local nurses and associations that care for mental disability patients, my research on this hospital began from May 2020. I’ve already made contact with 10 nurses and 2 patients from the hospital and related care facility and built relationships of mutual trust. Furthermore, I will expand these relationships to other nurses, doctors and patients, as well as their families to bring deeper stories. I am also going to document their private life.

 

Documentation with video and stills will begin from November. I have planed 20 interviews (8 healthcare workers, 7 patients and 5 relevant persons such as a funeral parlor, sociologist and psychiatrist who addressed social discrimination) within 3 months, until mid February 2021.

From the research process: Video above was sketch note of COVID-19 Care facility, Kyoto Heian Hotel and voice by health care worker from Horikawa Hospital. Exhibition images are mockup for experiments. I am going to shoot video interview and documentary film for [Silent Pain] from November 2020.

From the research process: Pictures above were taken at COVID-19 Care facility, Kyoto Heian Hotel in September 2020.  More than 100 patients stayed in this hotel Since April 2020. Because of discrimination against the COVID-19 patients, no one still appeared to the media. I captured the all room keys(more than 40) of COVID-19 patients. The keys were corroded by powerful disinfectant.  

© 2020 Kazuma Obara