Conviviality for a new normality

by Héctor López Terán

The SARS Cov-2 virus pandemic emerges from the multidimensional crisis resulting from our daily destructive behavior with nature, not as a cause of the setbacks in our current society. Control measures to curb the spread of the virus were proposed to solve a life-threatening problem and a “new normal” without questioning the underlying problem.

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[COVID-19 Pandemic: Worlds Stories from the Margins] Punished if you care, punished if you don’t: Women Health Workers and the COVID-19 pandemic in India

by Sreerekha Sathi 

Hard work which never pays, that has been the story of India’s public health workers. Their hard work, care, and attentive love for the country’s most vulnerable has entered a new phase under the COVID-19 pandemic.

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[COVID-19 Pandemic: Worlds Stories from the Margins] Caring for earth in times of COVID-19

…from my place in and beyond Extinction Rebellion Netherlands

by Fleur Zantvoort

The past months I’ve spent so much time, too much time, sitting inside, looking outside. What the pandemic is leaving me with is a sense of deep discrepancy. I just haven’t been able to match up the view from my window with what I know reality to be in my head. As if my eyes were deceiving me.

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In times of crises: Why there is no place for ‘development’ in imagining a just future for all

by Adriana Cancar

In these current times of crises, and I purposely use crises in the plural, fatal misconceptions of ‘development’ and ‘growth’ are becoming even more blatantly apparent. Any given day we can see the consequences of ‘development’. Humans are forced to look for a safe place to live as their homes are simply inhabitable due to environmental degradation, land grabs, extractivism, heat waves, floods, droughts and fires. All the while, it feels like the climate crisis is  only taken seriously by young people most likely to experience the devastating consequences of a fossil-based, mass consumptive and resource-intensive lifestyle. Slowly but surely global warming is also hitting the global North –  and that means crises also affect ‘us’, the (relatively) ‘privileged’. By ‘privileged’ I mean those that for decades have profited from a fossil-based, mass-consumptive lifestyle all the while externalizing its costs. Continue reading “In times of crises: Why there is no place for ‘development’ in imagining a just future for all”

Feminist Letters Crossing Borders – Cartas feministas atravessando fronteiras

by Gabriela Monteiro and Ruth Steuerwald

Brasília, February 9th, 2020

Hi, my dearest German girl!

How I miss you. Here in Brazil, carnival is approaching and people are getting more agitated every day. Last week, I was in Salvador and the Blackest city outside Africa is still pulsating. The Iemanjá celebration[1] was happening on 02/02, a celebration that always touches me a lot. It’s also a festival which is full of problems and contradictions, with the presence of white tourists and photographers consuming what is sacred for Black people. Everything is very difficult, but as capoeira teaches us, we need to gingar[2] – and we can’t forget who is the real owner of the party. Never forget who we are.

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[COVID-19 Pandemic: Worlds Stories from the Margins] Relinking as healing: Ruminations on crises and the radical transformation of an antisocial and antirelational world

by Julia Suárez-Krabbe 

Relinking

My dear friend, mentor and guide among the spiritual authorities of the four peoples that inhabit Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in Colombia (from now on: Mamos), Saúl Martínez, once told me that he was sometimes asked if he was religious, and that his answer was yes – in the etymological sense of the word: re-ligare (Latin), re-link. And Saúl also emphasized that it is important that I relink in/to Denmark too, inasmuch my roots lie here as much as they lie in Colombia. This re-linking with the Mother as we have used it with Saul not only complements Walter Mignolo’s notion of delinking from modernity-coloniality,[i] it also involves a movement into decolonial healing. Indeed, while delinking is an important move, it appears incomplete if it is not accompanied by relinking, a continued practice of deep reconnection. As we will see, relinking is crucial to these reflections.

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[COVID-19 Pandemic: Worlds Stories from the Margins] Between solidarity and charity: a dialogue from the kitchen

The Barricade is a volunteer-run collective inspired by raccoons and anarchism, active as a public library and an anti-foodwaste kitchen. Our* library has a variety of radical left wing books and zines that can be loaned for free. We believe that self-education is a crucial element in the struggle for social change and therefore we aim to provide a space for collective learning. We organize discussions, reading groups and workshops that are free and open to anyone interested. Our vegan dinners are for donation and made out of what would have been otherwise trash. By fighting foodwaste we make it possible for people to eat a decent meal without having to pay a fortune.

* The I of this story is actually a we, collecting the experiences of more people part of The Barricade collective.

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[COVID-19 Pandemic: Worlds Stories from the Margins] Eating my Food Politics; Reflections During COVID-19

by Rosa de Nooijer

Image 1 – Quince by Paul de Nooijer

My ways of eating have become fundamental to the way I want to be in the world. Food has always played an important role in my life, as we need food to stay alive, but it also connects us to those around us, whether that is when we are growing food, eating food or when we are caring for the earth and the other-than-humans on and in it. However, over the past years, I have come to understand that much of the food we buy and eat is produced in agricultural landscapes that are highly industrialized and mechanized. Not just that, but the bigger food systems, of which the growing of crops is only a small part, are de-humanizing and exploiting workers all over the world to ‘please the needs of consumers’ and destroying bio-cultural diversities to sustain capitalism and other oppressive systems. Also, the inequalities that are reproduced in these food systems result in the majority of the world population relying on cheap and unhealthy food, which increases their risks to a variety of diseases, one of which is COVID-19 which has been linked to different food-related diseases, for example diabetes, obesity and malnourishment.

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Cultural management and transition: reflections during the pandemic

by Ana Agostino

On 29 April this year the Faculty of Culture from University CLAEH in Montevideo organised a forum to reflect on the role of cultural managers during the pandemic, where different approaches and visions were shared. I was glad to participate and contribute with some reflections. This text is the continuation and deepening of those first ideas.

The current crisis caused by the Coronavirus pandemic has transformed daily life in almost all countries of the world. In these four months, countless articles have been written in Uruguay and around the world on the impact of the pandemic, on the possible exit and future scenarios. If we could talk about the density of virtual meetings, we could certainly be facing a historical record, not only of simultaneous activities in the virtual space but also of the number of people on line. Most of them analysing the very meaning of the pandemic itself, a variety of aspects of reality and their relationship to the phenomenon. Perhaps the greatest coincidence in this babel of seminars, articles, videos and other diversity of tools used to try to understand and project, is that reality as we know it, to a greater or lesser extent, will change. It is changing. It changed. And therefore it is possible to say that the future, the sense of the future, is in dispute.

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[COVID-19 Pandemic: Worlds Stories from the Margins] Caring for Our Shared Life-Worlds

by Wendy Harcourt

In her beautiful and widely circulated piece in Con Tactos, Judith Butler speaks of Human Traces on the Surfaces of the World asking us to consider deeply our interconnectedness:

“The virus lands on, enters, one bounded body and departs to land on the skin of another or on an object, looking for a host —the surface of a package, the porous material of a shared world” (21 April 2020).

The question is how can we share this world, as we all feel our vulnerability and our interconnectedness. How can we move beyond the deep multifaceted inequalities which are so starkly revealed in the pandemic and work towards maintaining communities that are based on care and respect for others diversity and our common responsibility for our shared life-worlds.

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