Kathleen hopes to illuminate the ongoing colonial agenda and its extension into COVID-19 and public health relations. Particularly, she will focus on how anti-mask groups- who refer to themselves as Freedom Fighters have interacted with formal institutions like public health, and vice versa, to create expendable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic. She hopes to demonstrate how Freedom Fighters and public health alike perpetuate colonialism through a new arena of the COVID-19 pandemic. This will provide a perspective critical of both public health and groups like Freedom Fighters’ role in the erasure of lives and ways of knowing. Most importantly, this presentation will ask viewers to reflect upon their positions in society and locate how they may contribute to colonialism knowingly or unknowingly.
Speaker: Kathleen Mah
Kathleen Mah is a recent graduate of the University of Lethbridge with her BA in Anthropology and a minor in Women and Gender Studies. She originally comes from Calgary Alberta, but has made a home in Lethbridge for the past five years. Her research is based around drawing attention to, and fostering conversations around structural violence. Her focus is on critical public health and anti-masking groups, known as Freedom Fighters. Kathleen plans on continuing her work within medical anthropology at Carleton University in the fall as she enters the masters of arts program there. Kathleen locates herself as a settler on Treaty 7 territory, Métis Nation Region III, and Blackfoot Confederacy. She wishes to pay respect to these peoples, past, present, and future and hopes to continue to learn from these peoples.