Skip to Main Content

Masking Across 12,548 KM by Hogan Lam highlights the struggles of an immigrant during the pandemic

Categories: ,


Over the month of May and leading up to FIFSW’s convocation on June 17, we’ll be sharing creative work by students, including drawings, paintings, collage, video projects and more. A number of these art-based projects were created as part of course work. Some were produced as part of a co-curricular initiatives. All offer an alternative way to explore, understand, and communicate knowledge, ideas and experiences.

Masking Across 12,548 KM

By Hogan Lam

Masking Across 12,548 KM” captures the process of David, a young immigrant from Hong Kong to Canada, flying back home from Toronto to Hong Kong. It highlights his struggles as an immigrant during the pandemic and offers David’s insight into the two polities’ pandemic safety measures. In the video, he specifically talked about the cultural differences in wearing masks, western propaganda that increases anti-Asian racism, and the ongoing polarized government safety measures in Hong Kong and Ontario. All these factors continue to contribute to the making of his “outsider” identity, which is largely associated with his immigrant background and experience.

Masking Across 12,548 KM was created for the course Social Work With Immigrants and Refugees (SWK 4658H) taught by Izumi Sakamoto. This course examines how immigrants and people of colour are constructed/understood in our society in general and in social services in particular, with special attention paid to how intersecting oppressions of race/ethnicity, gender, class, age, sexual orientation, health status, and differential ability affects immigrants and refugees in Canada.

The course provides an overview of the history of immigration to Canada and the impact of social policies and programs on the settlement and adaptation of newcomers. It also highlights the barriers that newcomers face in Canadian society, with emphasis placed on access, equity and human rights as fundamental principles that should form the basis of human service delivery for newcomers. The course examines different models of service provision with a view to developing empowering practice with immigrants and refugees. Throughout the course, special attention is paid to the integration of theory, research and practice at different levels of practice.

About Hogan Lam

Hogan Lam (he/him) is a recent Master of Social Work graduate at the University of Toronto specializing in Human Services Management and Leadership. With lived experience, Hogan has been a social justice advocate for migrant rights, LGBTQ2S+ rights, and anti-Asian racism and has received multiple awards and scholarships recognizing one’s activism and leadership in these areas. He is the Research Coordinator for Associate Professor Izumi Sakamoto’s anti-Asian racism research project “2020 in Hindsight: A Virtual Chinese Canadian Dialogue on Race”. Hogan continues to advocate against anti-Asian racism by organizing and mobilizing Asian newcomer communities.


FIFSW students, alumni & faculty: do you have an art project that you would like to share? We would love to feature your work. Contact

Click here to learn about FIFSW’s Art Wall