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Curated Stories

Take a deeper dive... Curated stories take you into specific topics about the Medical Industrial Complex. Each story has both a narrative essay page and a curated timeline with selections from the main timeline. Watch this page for new stories on the way!
An illustrated castle with multiple floors depicts feudal society in medieval Europe, from the church and king to freemen and serfs.

The Story of the Colonizer Wound

The violence of turning life into objects to be traded or sold began generations before Columbus stepped foot on Turtle Island. This story looks at the racial capitalist belief systems and cultural constructs that shape many of the strategies of Western medicine.

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A patient in a fuzzy gown props their arm on a counter. A nurse dressed in all white holds their hand. Another nurse is in the background.

The Story of Tuberculosis

Public “hygiene” campaigns organized by the white-led Anti-Tuberculosis Movement embedded racism and classism into the treatment of this bacterial disease. Black care workers organized integrative care strategies in response that were then co-opted by the state.

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A black and white photo of a crowded chip deck full of people being questioned by men in uniforms with paperwork.

The Story of Marine Health

The roots of the U.S. public health system emerged from a system that supported sea merchants and sailors involved in the transatlantic trade. This story tracks the development of systems of public health surveillance and control designed to protect borders and profit.

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Banner reads in green and orange "Interdependence is survival - Naomi Ortiz. Disability Justice IS Racial Justice IS Environmental Justice"

The Story of Disability Justice

Disability Justice is “a political, cultural practice and series of strategies and tactics that assert and agitate from the lived belief that our disabled, Deaf, sick bodies and minds are enough as we are” (Anti-Eugenics Movement Strategy Huddle).

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Five people wearing masks hold up red signs that read: "Project Nurses, Patients, Public Health"

The Story of COVID-19

A granular look at how chaos, care, and control shape healthcare practices, research, and policy through the lens of the COVID-19 pandemic. This story examines ongoing expressions of generations of racism, xenophobia, and ableism alongside numerous stories of resistance.

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Hand drawn illustration of a red and white poppy flower with ruffled green leaves and seed pods.

The Story of Opium

Enforcement and access for narcotics has been as much about xenophobia, racism, and global economic policies as it has been about public health. The story of opium is the story of laudanum, which is also the story of morphine, codeine, heroin, and Oxycontin. It’s a story of social control, a story of Big Pharma, and a story of criminalization.

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A large combine machine moves through a field of golden grain stalks, kicking up dust.

The Story of Rural Health

There is no clear agreement over what constitutes “rural” in the United States. Yet, at the same time, healthcare infrastructure has been continually defunded in rural communities, particularly in communities with large Black and Indigenous populations.

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X-shaped red and blue DNA, showing how genes are spliced and combined.

The Story of the Patenting of Life

Patent law was one of the strategies for colonization brought to Turtle Island by European settlers. Since that time, there has been an evolving argument over what can be patented or “owned,” shaping the evolution of agriculture and now also the pace of genetic technologies.

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A botanical drawing of a lavender plume-like flower, close-up of a sugarcane stalk and leaves, and a drawing of the entire plant.

The Story of Sugar

This story tracks the relationship between the sugar industry’s demand for profits, the decimation of Indigenous lands, the creation of plantations and the North Atlantic Slave Trade, and the impact of sugar on the human body.

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