Lara’s special anti-epidemic video: please don’t be UNMASKED
News / By Lara Netherlands and Xu Shenglan / 02 12,2020 16:37:00 / others

Background interview with Lara about Unmasked:

Can you introduce yourself to us, Lara?

My name is Lara. I’m from South Africa. I’m 24 years old. I currently work as an English teacher for Nicole’s Home Kindergarten. Working with children is one of my passions.

Is this video created by yourself? What makes you to have this idea?

I wrote the poem in the video by myself and my producer, Alexander who helped me to bring it to life. Before the virus broke out as an epidemic, I found myself in a creative block (AKA ‘writer’s block). During the last semester I was very busy with work, and the little time that I had off was spent with my friends. I needed time by myself which can sometimes be quite scary. When you spend so much time by yourself, you’re forced to face things in yourself that you don’t always want. It’s easy to be selfish and greedy in a time where people are in need. This explains the title ‘Unmasked’ because it’s between those four walls of your home where you have to take off that mask and face who you really are.

Can you talk about the process of making this video?

My craft as a poet and performance artist means nothing to me, if it cannot mean anything to at least one person and move them in a way. I always start with the essential meaning first, brainstorm the message which I want to carry through, and then I just get lost in the words and let them carry me away.

I read of a man who gave his extra mask to an elderly woman so that she could take the bus, as well as an African man who donated money to help people who are suffering, despite the personal hardships he faces while living here. These people are the epitome of what selflessness means and are certainly the kind of people that inspire me to create something at least half as worthy as their actions.

What messages do you want to pass along through this video to the viewers?

We can simply not afford to be selfish in a time like this. The act of selflessness requires you to take good care of yourself, so that you are able to take care of others as well. China demonstrates a strong sense of community in this way and they may rightfully take pride in it.

What can you contribute to the epidemic prevention and control work as a foreigner in Hainan?

Act with caution and respect the restrictions that the government has put up.

Are there any other things you would like to share with the viewers?

I recently have been influenced by younger generations that are becoming more aware of climate change and environmental damage at a proliferating rate. I hope that after facing our main priority of trying to get this epidemic under control, we will focus on the cause of this virus, so as to not let it happen again.

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