Oral Histories

Interview of Maya Wysocki

Interviewed for the UCLA Center for the Study of Women’s Oral Histories of Environmental Illness series. Visual effects illustrator living with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).
Series:
Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness
Topic:
Environmental Illness
Social Movements
Biographical Note:
Interviewed for the UCLA Center for the Study of Women’s Oral Histories of Environmental Illness series. Visual effects illustrator living with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).
Interviewer:
Apolloni, Alexandra
Interviewee:
Wysocki, Maya
Persons Present:
Wysocki and Apolloni
Place Conducted:
This interview was conducted by telephone.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library’s Center for Oral History Research. and Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library’s Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
This interview was conducted by Alexandra Apolloni, Research and Program Developer, UCLA Center for the Study of Women; PhD in Ethnomusicology. Apolloni writes about the history of popular music, performance, gender, and culture.
Processing of Interview:
The interviewer prepared for the interview by reading a pre-interview questionnaire completed by the narrator. The interviewer prepared a timed log of the audio recording of the interview.
Length:
3 hrs
Language:
English
Copyright:
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Audio:
Series Statement:
Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness is a collection of interviews with over seventy individuals living in the U.S. and Canada whose family history, occupation, art practice, or activism have brought them into direct contact with illness experience and disability related to chronic, low-dose exposure to toxicant chemicals. The procurement of this collection (from March 2019 through September 2020) was sponsored by the UCLA Center for the Study of Women under the directorship of Rachel C. Lee, with interviews conducted by six undergraduates, five graduate students, two career staff, and two faculty members at CSW.
Born in Poland––Mother winning visa lottery and moving to Chicago, United States at age 2––Parents meeting in college during university––Memories of childhood home––Memory of first exposure to toxic chemicals––Exposure to fragrances and chemicals during high school––Moving to Los Angeles at 18 years old––Developing sensitivity towards Glade Plugins––Chemical Sensitivity affecting experience at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects––Memories of sensitization––Exhibiting signs of chemical sensitivity in the workplace––Co-workers also exhibiting signs of chemical sensitivity––Favoritism at the workplace––The age and gender bias of research on environmental exposure––Human Resources meeting with the producer and manager of office about Glade plugins used in the workplace
Continuing with the HR meeting regarding usage of Glade plugins––Feeling invalidated regarding chemical sensitivity in the workplace––The difficulty of finding fragrance free alternatives for cleaning products––Joining online forum for support––Importance of finding people who understands the impact of toxins and chemical exposure––Joining Facebook groups and discovering TILT––Attending bridal party in Las Vegas
Joining electromagnetic subreddit and feeling dismissed––The high percentage of anxiety and depression within the MCS community
Creating an MCS subreddit for a more specific reddit than the EMF subreddit–-Collecting an archive of materials regarding MCS––Exposures to pesticides to developmental issues for children––The difficulty of living with MCS and fabulous used in rental cars––New work environment––Looping back to chemical and fragrance exposure in the old workplace