Solidarity and Care during the COVID-19 Pandemic is a public platform supported and produced by The Sociological Review that documents and reports on the lived experiences, caring strategies and solidarity initiatives of diverse people and groups across the globe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Sociological Review has long supported research on social reproduction, which we often discuss in terms of “care”. This includes our blog collections on private troubles/public issues, radical care, and love. As the COVID-19 pandemic makes its way across the globe, questions of care arise at every turn. Drawing across our knowledge, networks and resources we launched this new initiative in order to provide a space where scholars, activists and members of the general public could contribute their insights, concerns and reflections on care and solidarity in these pandemic times. Showcased in our stories of solidarity and care, these contributions include standard blogposts, audio and video recordings, letters, and other creative outputs.
We believe that this is important because the pandemic has made visible our need for collective care. Everyday life is characterised by a fear of contagion, public health responses in large parts of the world demanding lockdown and physical distancing. And while these measures are important at slowing the progress of the virus, they are caught up in broader projects of surveillance and control by governments and the introduction of totalitarian measures that will outlast the virus. In the wake of the pandemic, the inadequacies of state care have become all the more apparent. People and communities are finding creative ways to care for others and the self through social connection, the pandemic is generative of new social relations and solidarities. Neighbourhoods develop mutual aid systems, as parents, children, friends and strangers draw into sometimes unexpected units.
Our hope is that this dedicated platform will be a freely accessible collective resource that can circulate locally and across continents with the aim of helping us to care better for one another. More than anything, the organic forms of caring emerging in these times offer alternatives to the status quo, and prefigure a future centred on collective care is possible. It is dispositions of cruelty, greed and exploitation that got us into this, it will be care that gets us out.
How to contribute
You can contribute to Solidarity and Care during the COVID-19 Pandemic in a variety of ways:
- Pieces of writing that are potential standard blog articles (essays between 800-1500 words).
- Photography, graphics, memes, visual art.
- Sound or video recording related to projects of collective care in the pandemic (we cannot accept audio or video files but invite links to material already hosted online, privately or publicly; click Submit below for details). Please refer to our Audio and/or Visual Guidance for Contributors.
- Reports in any genre (essay, letter, poem, free-form prose, list, dialogue, journal entry, email text, etc.) regarding:
- community responses, projects of collective care, and mutual aid initiatives that others should know about and learn from. [We would also appreciate simply receiving relevant links, even if not possible to provide personal reflections related to experience participating in the initiatives.]
- (re)negotiating domestic space and labour, forms of household cooperation and conflict related to quarantine, different relationships to “risk”, and other challenges related to the “private” sphere during the pandemic.
- Finally, please simply write us a letter, perhaps using the following questions as an inspiration. This letter can be long or short, and we won’t judge you (as often happens on the Internet). If it is to be published in our letters section, it will remain entirely anonymous (unless you ask otherwise).
- How are you personally responding to the crisis? What have you found most difficult? Are there aspects of this moment you think may be positive?
- How do you get your knowledge about the crisis? How is it being described on social media or the news?
- How are authorities responding to the pandemic in your area? How do you feel about it?
- How are mutual aid networks or other community and workplace initiatives responding to the pandemic in your area? (e.g. helping the isolated, other forms of logistic or emotional support, altering production activities)
- In your view, is there anything particular about your region that affects experience of, and responses to, the pandemic? What cultural traditions are affected? If quarantine(s) or shelter-in-place instructions have been given, what particular challenges are involved?
- Have you noticed any differences related to gender, class or racial identity in responses and activities related to the pandemic?
- Have you noticed if the crisis has made people kinder towards each other? More competitive?
Beyond these user-produced outputs, you can contribute via social media, drawing our attention to relevant events, activities and initiatives by either tagging us @TheSocReview and / or using the hashtag #solidaritycareTSR. We are interested in everything from large think-pieces on the future of the welfare state to Instagram shots of your creative quarantine recipes! We are also interested in links to any further materials you think might be relevant to post on our website (permission permitting) that you think may be useful for others during this time. For example, here’s a brilliant reading list, including some wonderful podcasts: https://the-syllabus.com/coronavirus-readings/
Are you multilingual? We are especially keen to hear from contributors with reflections on and ideas for collective care beyond the United Kingdom and Europe. Currently we can read letters and media contributions in English, French, Japanese and Spanish (and perhaps more as the project unfolds) and will publish select non-English material on our website (with a short summary in English).
For any further information, please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org