Furqan Jawed

is very close to completing 
an MFA in Graphic Design
at Yale School of Art.

Recent work will be published
here shortly.

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The Priest, the Politican and the Pandemic


In contemporary times the boundaries between myth and reality are increasingly blurred whether that’s through fake news or neoliberal faciscim. In myths and legends one often hears about people resorting to absurd or surreal methods to combat demons and ward off evil spirits. COVID-19 is no less a demon than one from these myths.   
    In this anthology I’ve collected the stories about the lengths people have gone and the things people will do to try to beat this demon, setting up a tension between our desire to have a clear enemy and the complexities of the contemporary reality we live in. The focus of the book is not simply the way we are reacting to coronavirus but rather an attempt to demonstrate how pre-existing political conditions diehard in times of crisis.
    The myths in the book serve a reminder that the people proposing the solutions in the news stories would like us to think of the current crisis in simplistic binary terms (as in folk tales). However, through the repetition of news stories all around the world I demonstrate how the binary is complicated by a pattern of extremist politics that attempt to prey on people's fears and anxieties. And that therefore is a bigger danger than the virus itself.
    The book uses a dual system of first displaying a web article about the mythical cure in a specific region. This article is then paired with a fable from the same region where the primary plotline is a conquest to obtain a magical solution to cure a protagonist of its disease. The publication is designed to reference Renaissance era black letter publications and works by William Morris from the late 1800s, and will be published through print-on-demand.
    Ultimately, this book demonstrates that while COVID-19 is being called the "invisible enemy", the real enemy is much less apparent.