Resilience in Pandemic Sensemaking: Thinking Through a Community of Practice


  • Mary Elizabeth Luka University of Toronto



In the fall of 2020, a series of videos created for the exploratory shared experience called Massive Micro Sensemaking were presented at the Virtual International Arts (VIA) Festival for Social Change in New York. In this article, Luka considers these works as caring, reflective and expressive practices of resilience during a global crisis, while questioning who benefits from promoting ideas about social resilience in such circumstances.

Author Biography

Mary Elizabeth Luka, University of Toronto

Mary Elizabeth (M.E.) Luka is Assistant Professor, University of Toronto and an award-winning producer of digital content for television, exhibition, and digital platforms. Luka examines co-creative production and dissemination in arts, culture, and media, including creative hubs and networks in Canada, UK, USA, and Australia. M.E. is a founding co-lead for the Critical Digital Methods Institute at University of Toronto Scarborough, and policy co-lead for Archive/Counter-Archive, a national partnership involving 27 universities and cultural organizations in activating audiovisual archives created by Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Métis, Inuit), the Black community, and People of Colour, womxn, LGBT2Q+ and immigrant communities. Luka has published in academic journals and books, and is completing a solo manuscript, A(rtspots) to ZeD: Digitizing Arts Documentary in Canada, and a collaborative manuscript, Dirty Methods: Feminist Epistemologies and Methodologies for Research. More information can be found at


Bastick, Zachary, Heidi Campbell, Lynnette Widder, Elizabeth Whitney. “Run bunny run”. 0:51 mins. 2020.

Bolander, Brook, Phillipa Smith, and Fiona Stirling. “Homesteading Across Time”. 2:08 mins. 2020.

Brode-Roger, Dina, Jennifer Erdely, and Peta Murray. “Braided work visual art”. 2:00 mins. 2020.

Carlson, Rebecca, Annette Markham, Fiona Stirling, and Sharon Zheng, “The Threshold of Sound”. 1:50 mins. 2020.

Cooper, Jayson. “Ice melting on artwork”. 0:23 mins. 2020.

Dunlop, Melissa, Lea Wolf, Jonathon Hutchinson, and Mark DeGarmo, “Marsh Wings Faded”. 1:07 mins. 2020.

Exquisite Corpse-19 (EXC-19). Producer: Midi Onodera. 2020.

Fahey, Dawne, Melissa Dunlop, and Elizabeth Whitney. “Feeling Our Way”. 2:21 mins. 2020.

Fitzpatrick, Esther, Annabelle Sreberny, Marianne Clark, and Danielle Dilkes. “A Moment”. 2:58 mins. 2020.

Frølunde, Lisbeth, Corinna Peterken, Louise Phillips, and Tatiana Chemi, “Braiding Dislocated Lives”. 2:25 mins. 2020.

Gallaway-Mitchell, Lee-Anne, Dina Brode-Roger, Nicola Sum, Mary Elizabeth Luka. “Land Here”. 1:11 mins. 2020.

Haraway, Donna. The Companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, People, and Significant Otherness. Cambridge: Prickly Paradigm Press, 2003.

Holford, Elyzabeth, Annette Markham, Mary Elizabeth Luka, and Anne Harris, “Zoom Haiku,”. 2020, 1:15 mins

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L’Hirondelle, Cheryl. “The NDN Storytelling Bus” performance art, Regina, SK. 2011-2014.

L’Hirondelle, Cheryl. “Why the Caged Bird Sings” installations. Various locations. 2008-2020

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Luka, Mary Elizabeth. “Assembling collaboration in the debris field: from psychogeography to choreographies of assembly.” Canadian Theatre Review, no.176, 2018, pp. 41-47.

Markham, Annette N. and Anne Harris. “Prompts for Making Sense of a Pandemic: The 21-day Autoethnography Challenge.” Qualitative Inquiry, Nov. 6 2020.

Markham, Annette, Anne Harris and Mary Elizabeth Luka. “Massive and microscopic sensemaking in times of COVID-19.” Qualitative Inquiry, Oct. 30 2020.

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Seddighi, Gilda, Peta Murray, Zachary Dorsey, and Devina Sarwatay, “Out, Empty, Away”. 3:29 mins. 2020.

Shelton, Stephanie Anne, Emma Cooke, and Estella Wong. “Paces”. 2:28 mins. 2020.

Shelton, Stephanie Anne, Alison Shields, Emma Cooke, and Estella Wong. “Team 2 EXC”. 1:26 mins. 2020.

Snepvangers, Kim, Georgia Rose Murray, Riccardo Pronzato, and Abby S. Waysdorf, “Birdsong”. 2:30 mins. 2020

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How to Cite

Luka, M. E. (2022). Resilience in Pandemic Sensemaking: Thinking Through a Community of Practice. Imaginations: Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies, 12(2), 139–167.