Art, dance, ‘Special Healing Cocktail’ honor nurses lost to Covid
Filipino Americans make up just 4% of U.S. registered nurses but have accounted for over 30% of all Covid-related nurse deaths.
To honor their ultimate sacrifice, Bay Area conceptual artist and mythologist O.M. France Viana has portrayed them as superheroines, in a Dia De Los Muertos installation at Brava Theater in San Francisco’s Mission District, as part of Kulart’s Nursing These Wounds dance performance run.
The installation features a butterfly cape in the binakol kinuskos fabric pattern, a magical cloth woven in northern Philippines and hung beside the dead to ward away evil spirits. In Philippine folk lore, a butterfly flying nearby means an ancestor is visiting.
The nurses’ scrubs are made of cloth inscribed and stamped by FANCO and FilAm community. The cloth’s op art spinning vortex pattern echoes Wonder Woman’s signature transformational spin, whose first secret identity was as a G.I. nurse. The pocket is stuffed with sage, frankincense and ube. An accompanying video is projected on an iPhone and at the dance performances.
France Viana’s art uses food as metaphors for culture and identity. With nearby bar Junior’s chief bartender, whose mother is a retired nurse, Viana created a special cocktail of Philippine healing elixirs: salabat, calamansi, yerba buena and Tanduay rum. Named Mabuhay Nurses! It will be on the menu in October. Here’s the recipe:
2 oz Tanduay Rum
3/4 oz homemade salabat (ginger syrup)
3/4 oz calamansi juice
Mint- muddled and as a garnish
Shake up and pour into a highball glass with ice
Finish with a kropeck shrimp chip, lime wedge and hay straw
Stop by and raise a glass to pandemic nurses and health care workers everywhere.
The installation can be viewed from the windows of Brava Women’s Center for the Arts at 2781 24th St, San Francisco. Visit the KULARTS website for Nursing These Wounds performance tickets, weekends Oct 21-30. Junior bar is at 2545 24th St, San Francisco