Monologue by Sim Yan Ying "YY"

Presented as part of Quarantine Dreams, a series of four instalments of video letters and monologues that are reflections on inequalities, systemic injustice, racism and classism. 

"I Walk Around With My Chinese Privilege in New York was created out of the dissonant experience of being part of the racial majority in Singapore and a minority in the United States. I moved to New York for college in August 2015 and spent the last five years reconstructing my identity and finding my place in society—something that I previously did not have to think about because I grew up primarily amongst people who look like me and speak the same languages I do. While I have experienced racism in multiple forms in New York, I am constantly aware of my racial privilege in Singapore and how it insulates me, to an extent, from the deep pain and hurt that these racist encounters would otherwise have caused. The victim-oppressor framework breaks down here because in a way, I am both. So how do I, as well as others in my position, negotiate this and move forward constructively instead of remaining stuck in this contradiction? The anti-Asian sentiment in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the Black Lives Matter movement have made this question even more pertinent to answer, which I attempt to explore and interrogate in this 7-minute monologue."

New York City