How Are You Today – Sam Petersen

Sam Petersen

How Are You Today – Episode 9


Instagram handle @sampetersensam
Twitter @Samantha42467505


Kiera Brew Kurec 0:04
Hi and welcome to Pro Prac I’m Kiera Brew Kurec.

Nick Breedon 0:07
And I’m Nick Breedon. You’re listening to How Are You Today? A spin off series where we call an artist and check in with how Coronavirus is affecting them and ask them to share their worries and their hopes for the future.

Sam Petersen 0:26

Kiera Brew Kurec 0:26

Thanks so much, Sam for joining us on the show today. We’re just gonna start off by jumping right in and asking you how are you today?

Sam Petersen 0:46
Hi Kiera and Nick all of what I am saying is pre written. Super glad I have in my own place to be shut away in. I have only been in it for just over a year. For most of my life, I did not have this. It may sound like I’m living in luxury, not many people being able to afford their own flat. Most most other people’s alternatives are not the same as my alternatives. And fuck have I experienced these alternatives! I remember people saying it’s okay, if you don’t get this flat, there will be more. Thankfully I got it, I might still be waiting. It has a lovely view and everything.

Kiera Brew Kurec 2:20
That’s good, that’s really important Sam, do you mind sharing with us how you have been affected by COVID-19 either personally or in your practice of both.

Sam Petersen 2:40
Personally, I was so afraid of being in hospital with no one being able to see me. I’ve been in hospital before and the idea of being alone. It’s terrifying. I don’t have immediate speech. And that can mean you have next to no voice in hospital. I have experienced it. I look and sound disabled. I am disabled. Sometimes I have screamed in hospital and it has been met with indifference. You’re just not taken seriously when you have a disability. And ultimately, I can’t blame the nurses because they are not given the time needed to understand me, and many have false ideas around disability. I need a support worker in hospital who knows me. But at the start of Covid 19 I was told no. So much so that I was thinking do I want to risk the health of support workers? But being unable to communicate is so dangerous both physically and mentally. Sharing my story, along with the stories of many others has just changed the regulations so that they now allow support workers in hospitals.

Kiera Brew Kurec 5:10
Oh that’s so good, Sam. So good. I saw you on SBS talking about that. Good on you. And that’s really good.

Sam Petersen 5:33
And fuck am I relived! But we still have some issues with PPE to work out. PPE is gloves, face mask, gown, face shields, stuff like that. PPE is so much more important to us, as we can’t physically isolate. I have to have support 24 seven. That is what I’m feeling.

Kiera Brew Kurec 6:24
Thanks for sharing.

Nick Breedon 6:28
So Sam, are you working on any projects at the moment?

Sam Petersen 6:37
I have been scrapbooking as a way of keeping myself going. And a bit of gardening on my balcony. I’m very interested in exploring the theme of slow violence. And I have been given an at home residency by Constant Ecology to explore it.

Nick Breedon 6:59
That’s great news.

Kiera Brew Kurec 7:00
Oh, that’s so great that you got that!

Sam Petersen 7:09
So much of what I am focused on is just that slow violence. Like, I feel like I always have to rewrite everything. Because people don’t have time to sit there while I type it out. And that puts a huge amount back on me to either Shut up or pre prepare everything.

Nick Breedon 7:44
That’s a lot of extra work.

Sam Petersen 7:45
Mmmm, and that takes up so much more of my time. Time that I have so little of already.

Kiera Brew Kurec 8:03
Yeah. Yeah. I’m so happy you got Constant Ecology. That’s so cool. I’m really excited to see what comes of that if there’s any outcomes. That’s really cool.

I’m wondering, did you create any new routines while you have been in isolation?

Sam Petersen 8:31
Yes, I have. I get up at 7am instead of 6am. And there is endless writing to do. I love going out. I feel safer if I don’t go out.

Nick Breedon 8:50
What are you currently worried about?

Sam Petersen 8:53
People with disabilities and low immune compromised will need to protect themselves long after restrictions are lifted. It pains me deeply at the thought of the world going back to normal without us. We are already being forgotten in all this. Imagine if we all continue to be shut away again like we were, the world will forget us either even more.

Kiera Brew Kurec 9:37
On the flip side of that, what are you hopeful for?

Sam Petersen 9:48
I have never felt so connected. I hope that lasts.

Kiera Brew Kurec 9:54
Yeah. I feel the same. And to wrap it up, do you mind sharing your social media handles and your website with us?

Sam Petersen 10:09
I just have to switch up.

Kiera Brew Kurec 10:11

Sam Petersen 10:24
My Instagram handle is @sampetersensam. My Twitter is @Samantha42467505 websites that’s Petersen with all E’s.

Nick Breedon 10:37
Thanks so much for that.

Kiera Brew Kurec 10:38
Thank you so much, Sam for taking the time to be with us and share what you’re up to. And I feel like since last time we spoke there’s been quite a few really cool developments and I’m really happy to hear that

Sam Petersen 11:12

(Sound of Sam typing)

There has been some sweet stuff, but a long way to go.

Kiera Brew Kurec 12:46
Yeah, Thanks again so much, Sam, for being part of the show. We really appreciate it.

Sam Petersen 13:03
And, thank you for listening.

Kiera Brew Kurec 13:46
anytime. Thanks again Sam, and I hope we will be able to be at a gallery again one day soon.

Nick Breedon 14:16
Sam would also like to acknowledge the advocacy work of the Summer Foundation in helping to share the experiences of people with disabilities facing the hospital system, which led to the changing of regulations around having support workers in hospital.

We respectfully acknowledge the traditional owners of the land the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation and pay respect to their elders past, present and emerging and the elders of the lands that this podcast reaches you on today. We extend that respect to all First Nations people listening today and acknowledge that sovereignty has never been ceded.

Kiera Brew Kurec 14:47
How Are You Today? has been generously supported by the city of Melbourne’s quick response grants. Follow us at @propracpodcast on Instagram or email us at If you haven’t already Please subscribe on whatever you listen to podcasts on.

Nick Breedon 15:03
Please stay in touch. We’d love to hear what you’re up to as well.

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Pro Prac acknowledges City of Melbourne’s generous contribution to How Are You Today? through their Quick Response grants program