About Zijia Song

Posts by Zijia Song:

No Comments

As Museums Reopen, Some Workers Feel Like Relics

Many rejoiced when New York’s museums were allowed to reopen last week, but not everyone was thrilled. As museum operations came to a halt or moved to the virtual sphere during the five-month shutdown, thousands of workers nationwide were laid off or furloughed. Freelancers and contractual workers, including art handlers, educators, and curators, also saw their working hours reduced to zero. With museums resuming their businesses in a new fashion to adapt to the pandemic, employees now find themselves facing a harsh new economic reality. More →

No Comments

Museum of Chinese in America’s President Nancy Yao Maasbach On Racism, Recovery, and Reopening

Among all of the arts and culture institutions that were hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. the Museum of Chinese in America had a particularly devastating 2020. On January 23, shortly before the city grinded to a virtual halt in March, the Mulberry Street building that housed MOCA’s collections and archives caught fire. As the pandemic unfolded, anti-Asian sentiment also rose rapidly. Statistics gathered by advocacy groups show that across the country, over 2,000 Covid-related anti-Asian-American hate incidents were reported between March and June.  More →

No Comments

New York’s List of Outbreak States Grows, But Are Mandatory Quarantines Actually Effective?

New York today added Kansas, Oklahoma, and Delaware to what is now a list of 19 states where Covid-19 is spreading rapidly. Travelers from the states, where there has been a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 or an average rate of infection of at least 10 percent over a rolling seven-day period, will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arriving in New York. Failure to observe the quarantine order could result in a $2,000 fine. But it’s not clear how the order will be enforced or whether it will be effective in curbing the spread of the virus. More →

No Comments

New York Workers and Scholars in Limbo Abroad as Trump Suspends Visas

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement office at JFK. (Photo: noway on Flickr)

Soon after Yukti visited India in February to get her H-1B visa stamp, American consulates around the world shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since then, the 28-year-old New Yorker hasn’t had a good night’s sleep and she has lost seven pounds. Over the past four months, she has delayed her return flight to the US four times, called the consulate in Mumbai daily until almost every phone receptionist knows her full name, and pleaded her case to no avail. Now, thanks to President Trump’s latest visa suspension order, which bans foreign workers with no H1-B visa stamps from entering the US, she is looking at another six months of unpaid leave from the Manhattan bank where she worked, while stranded in India. More →

No Comments

Arcade Project Pushes For ‘Real Change’ During the Art World’s Moment of Reckoning

M. Charlene Stevens (Photo: Ruben Natal-San Miguel)

As protests for racial justice continue, the art world has responded by featuring the work of black artists and exalting the influence of the Black Lives Matter movement on the art industry. Almost overnight, Twitter and Instagram has become flooded with lists of black galleries, black artists, and black musicians whose projects you can support. However, one black art dealer and critic, M. Charlene Stevens, remains suspicious. More →

1 Comment

Sex Workers Tip-Toe Back to Business, With Renewed Focus On Fighting Oppression

International Whores’ Day, 2018. (Photo: Mistress Blunt)


As thousands protest in the streets against the police killing of George Floyd, sex workers in New York rose in solidarity during a livestream to mark International Whores’ Day. The virtual rally came this afternoon, hours before they were to head to Stonewall Inn to speak out against police violence against black transgender people. More →

No Comments

NYC Might Expand Outdoor Dining, But What Would That Look Like?

(Photo: Fuzheado via WikiCommons)

With the weather warming and restaurant owners becoming increasingly desperate for guidance on reopening, the City Council introduced new legislation Thursday requiring the Department of Transportation to identify streets, sidewalks, and other public spaces suitable for outdoor dining. During a virtual roundtable discussion Friday, council members discussed the measure with over 200 small business owners and concerned citizens. More →