Learning and Struggling in Pandemic Times: Online Panel Discussion “Current Social Struggles During the Pandemic”

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Date(s) - May 21, 2021
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Friday, May 21st and Saturday, May 22nd

Learning and Struggling in Pandemic Times – Online Discussion and Workshop

The pandemic, like other unfolding and coming ecological crises, profoundly reshapes the terrain upon which social movements operate and emerge. The aim of this gathering is dual: To provide the tools to better understand how the pandemic is shifting the terrain, and to provide the tools with which such transformations can be mapped in the future. By bringing researchers, activists, and researcher-activists into dialogue, we will discuss different terrains of struggle over housing, reproductive rights, and ecology. Our aim is to facilitate an exchange of concepts, analyses, and tactics, and to build new connections that may encourage solidarity and transversal organizing in the future. This will be our opening event for the “Movements of Europe – Transnational Social Movements and Fault Lines of Solidarity” research project: all welcome!


Friday, May 21st 5 to 7 p.m. (cet)

Online Panel Discussion: Stay at Home? Current Social Struggles During the Pandemic

In this panel, we will discuss how the pandemic is transforming the terrain of social movements. Three opening talks focus on current crucial struggles within housing, gender and care, and climate politics in Europe: Bernd Belina (University of Frankfurt/Main) shows to what extent long-standing processes of privatisation and financialisation of the housing market affect affordable housing conditions as well as structures of property during the pandemic. Ongoing struggles for a right to housing are turning to struggles against social inequality on a new scale. Jennifer Ramme (University of Frankfurt/Oder) reports on current feminist protests in Poland against the regressive, authoritarian gender and family policies there, which condense in restrictive abortion law and the current considerations to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention. Tomislav Medak (Coventry University/Zagreb) speaks about pirate care in the pandemic, and the role of degrowth and municipalism in facing the multiple ecological crises.

This panel contributes to a better understanding of the different economic, social, cultural and spatial dynamics which reinforce social inequality and cleavages within the combined social and ecological crisis that becomes more evident in the pandemic. Building on this the discussion panel aims at outlining new forms of solidarity which emerge or become conceivable within these struggles.

On Saturday (10.30-12.45 a.m.) we continue our discussion in the workshop “Building Power in Times of Pandemic”


Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. (cet)

Online Workshop: Building Power in Times of a Pandemic

In this online workshop, based in activist mapping methods, we will share ways of grappling with the pandemic within the social movements that we participate in. Facilitated by Bue Rübner Hansen and Manuela Zechner, this proposal stems from the conceptual diagram and analytical framework for ‘building power in a crisis of social reproduction’, published in 2015 and developed since. We will be looking at different spheres of relation and organisation – informal, networked, inhabiting and space-based, organised, formal, representational and mediatic – to map out how (our) different initiatives are doing during the pandemic.

How have we engaged the shift from space-based into digital spheres? How do we engage new people? What channels does mutual aid and solidarity work take right now? How are we able to address loneliness, isolation, fear – and are we possibly finding new possibilities of reaching out, speaking and facilitating? What common translocal perspectives and organizing strategies have emerged? What new alliances and lessons have come up?

This pandemic mapping session will let us take a broad look at our strategies for social reproduction and organizing in the current crisis: housing, healthcare, social rights, environmental justice, agriculture, migrations, labour… All welcome! Please email us to register.


To register in advance please mail to: gisela-wiebke.mackenroth@uni-jena.de

We will send you the zoom-link and further technical information.

The event will be held in English, if you need translation let us know.

For any further question please E-Mail to: gisela-wiebke.mackenroth@uni-jena.de