Three artists have come together to create Public Public Address, a website that broadcasts clips and photos from people with disabilities protesting racism.
A newly-launched digital platform will give people with illnesses and disabilities a way to participate in the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests taking place across the United States. Three artists—Jason Lazarus, Siebren Versteeg, and Stephanie Syjuco—established the website Public Public Address on September 1 in order to help these communities have their voices heard without putting their lives at risk. The website urges individuals who are unable to protest in person for whatever reason to submit videos or photos of themselves protesting from anywhere in the world. By editing the submissions and "weaving" them together, the website creates one large virtual protest, CNN reports.
"This is all about our solidarity with Black Lives Matter. We want people to be a part of the movement whether they can protest on the streets or not," Lazarus said in an interview with the news outlet. "Our goal is battling systemic racism and violence and bringing all kinds of people along with us." The virtual protest created by the website is broadcast online all day, every day. At present, there is no real end in sight, which keeps the momentum going. Since it was first launched, Public Public Address has received submissions from more than 100 participants, Lazarus, an assistant professor of art and art history at the University of South Florida in Tampa, revealed.
Lucie Duggan is one of the 100 participants who sent in a submission. She is 16-years-old and lives in Orlando, Florida. As someone who is disabled and immunocompromised, it is unsafe for her to attend a protest in her community. Therefore, Public Public Address has become a way for her to take a stand against injustice. She stated, "It is so important that everyone works as hard as they can to provide justice and equality. [The website] has made an impact in my life by allowing me to further a cause that is so important and dire." She is unable to walk without a cane or a wheelchair. Moreover, the pandemic only worsens the risks involved.
"Even though we can't provide our bodies to the cause, we are with the protesters in spirit," she added. "Hopefully this project encourages many able-bodied people to take to the streets and demand change." Like Duggan, the website's founders truly believe in this cause. They claim they are just getting started. Versteeg affirmed, "The end date for this project is open, as we see the upcoming presidential election as a moment to build toward even more work, outreach, visibility, and racial justice." You can visit Public Public Address here or submit your own video or photo by checking out this document.