In these times of pandemics many aspects of what we understand as “care” have emerged to be in the centre of the public agenda. The confinements at home in many places (for those who have one), have put the focus in the daily activities needed to sustain life. To feed, to clean, to give affection and emotional support, to listen, to accompany in life and in death… have become the central activities to keep our beloveds, our selves, and others safe and healthy through the physical distance and individual isolation, the virus came with.
Feminism has analysed for decades the correlation among patriarchy and the sexual division of labour with the invisibilization of what Silvia Federici and others called “reproductive work”. Essential labour that has been linked to women’s role in society, and to that extent, remained invisible, unrecognised, unpaid. After the incorporation of women to the capitalist work, the work of care has been reallocated and assigned to migrant and women from the Global South, in a new mass of proletarian care workers, in many cases without labour rights, very poorly paid, and again unrecognised. This global care chain has created a new situation of “care crisis”. And then the virus arrived and made even clearer the need for a resignification and redistribution of the work of care, as well as the urgency to rethink collective care as a common need and a common, based on the interdependence of all human and non-human beings to sustain life on earth.
Covid-19 have shown the consequences of welfare institutions being impoverished by decades of neoliberal economic policies, like public health institutions, schools and elderly nurseries. A situation already denounced by politized movements dealing with solidarity through the redistribution of care, healthcare, domestic, social and educational tasks. Activists and workers reclaiming rights and the visibilization of the work of keeping alive life, environment and communities.
Within this ‘new’ crisis that covid-19 has opened which starts from the collaps of public institutions, citizens have organised autonomous networks of care and mutual aid to support those that have been left behind, such as precarious workers, migrants with illegal status, families in hunger, sex workers. Thus a wave of organization of solidarity initiatives has emerged, formed by already existent activist groups, associations, as well as by a big amount of new people, many of those youths engaging for the first time with this political action.
The School of Mutation wants to propose a space to start a fundamental conversation for the years to come. What means and what implies care? What kind of knowledge and skills emerged from caring? How do we want to build a new politics and ethics of care? What set up structures of radical care? Which infrastructure involves care? How can we make possible a space in which the knowledge produced by caring can be shared and can become a radical instrument for a commoning care tool kit?
Structured as a series of assemblies and conversations, this program proposes to build a space of sharing, listening and learning from concrete experiences coming from different territories that could articulate the potentials objectives, strategies and reflections that connect struggles into a new cartography of radical care in the present times.