Caring for the World: a Transformative Practice

Caring is a transformative practice, and this space is dedicated to conversation and encouragement of it. By care I mean “the relationships that maintain and repair the world so that humans and non-humans can live in it as well as possible in a complex arrangement that sustains life” [1].

In line with the work done by Pirate Care, which offers a syllabus on the subject we see that care is a political concept:
It’s a global capacity of society that is the responsibility of the commons, and we put it into practice on all sides.
Not only is care a criminalized practice, as we have seen many arrests for acts of solidarity, whether towards vulnerable people or for the wider benefit of society, but above all it is a practice that takes place against the existing economic systems, despite everything.
This reality is both the particularity of the choice of care, its fragility and its transforming capacity.

In our resistance organizations, the issue of care is crucial, the care we give each other, the attention we want to give to the world in which we live, is more and more often raised.
Very often the questions of care are put in parallel or even in opposition to political mobilizations, particularly with regard to technological practices.

  1. ‘relations [that] maintain and repair a world so that humans and non-humans can live in it as well as possible in a complex life-sustaining web’ Maria Puig de La Bellacasa, 2017. ‘Matters of Care’ . University of Minnesota Press. ↩︎

List of English Articles

The translated articles are available under the #en tag.

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An article I feel is helping to these times:

Really liked the following parts:

The quiet bit is this: To the rich and stupid, many of the economic measures necessary to stop this virus are so unthinkable that it would be preferable for millions to die. This is extravagantly wrong on more than just a moral level—forcing sick and contagious people back to work to save Wall Street puts all of us at risk. It is not only easier for these overpromoted imbeciles to imagine the end of the world than a single restriction on capitalism—they would actively prefer it.

The right, of course, has never had a monopoly on catastrophist fever dreams. The idea of a cleansing armageddon that instantly erases all the awkward parts of modernity, all the weary years of work and compromise between where we are and where we’d like to be, is universal, and universally childish. I’ve spent far too much time listening to drunk hipsters with retro-Soviet facial hair tell me there’s no point in feminism or anti-racism, because all of that will be fixed after the giant, bloody workers’ revolution that is absolutely on the way, so really it doesn’t matter how we treat each other in the present. You can hear the same gleeful anticipation in the rhetoric of “dark-green” eco-fundamentalist groups, which right now are outpacing religious extremists in their rush to claim the coronavirus as nature’s revenge on humanity. If you are really so keen to be punished, there are websites for that. If you find yourself eager to see the whole species punished, that’s not a fetish, that’s fascism.

Instead, the world feels larger, not smaller. Right now, with over a third of the world on some sort of lockdown, with the entire world going through some version of the same crisis at once, we are suddenly frantic to touch one another. It seems more important to reconnect with friends. It seems more important than ever to be sweet and silly. We all know someone who’s stuck in a house by themselves, trying not to go bonkers. We all know someone who’s stuck in a house with someone awful, trying to survive the hotboxing of an already toxic relationship. And many of us, by now, know someone who’s sick.

Shit-hits-the-fan escapism—a big part of the alt-right imaginary—never predicted this. I have lurked in countless stagnant ideological internet back alleys where young men excitedly talk about the coming end of civilization, where men can be real men again, and women will need protectors. How inconvenient, then, that when this world-inverting crisis finally showed up, we weren’t given an enemy we could fight with our hands (wash your hands).

The end of the world has never been quite so simple a mythos for women, likely because most of us know that when social structures crack and shatter, what happens isn’t an instant reversion to muscular state-of-naturism. What happens is that women and carers of all genders quietly exhaust themselves filling in the gaps, trying to save as many people as possible from physical and mental collapse. The people on the front line are not fighters. They are healers and carers. The very people whose work is rarely paid in proportion to its importance are the ones we really need when the dung hits the Dyson. Nurses, doctors, cleaners, drivers. Emotional and domestic labor have never been part of the grand story men have told themselves about the destiny of the species—not even when they imagine its grave.

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