Documentation of the Workshop: Learning and Struggling in Pandemic times
May 21st and May 22nd 2021
The pandemic, like other unfolding and coming ecological crises, profoundly reshapes the terrain upon which social movements operate and emerge. By bringing researchers, activists, and researcher-activists into dialogue, we held a workshop in order to discuss different terrains of struggle over housing, reproductive rights, and ecology. Our aim was to facilitate an exchange of concepts, analyses, and tactics, and to build new connections that may encourage solidarity and transversal organizing in the future. Here we are allocating recordings of the talks and of the discussion on May 21st as well as further reflections on the workshop on May 22nd.
Stay at Home? Current Social Struggles During the Pandemic – Online Panel Discussion, May 21st
Below we are presenting the talks by Bernd Belina, Jennifer Ramme and Tomislav Medak as well as the discussion that followed.
Introduction by Tilman Reitz and Gisela Mackenroth
Bernd Belina: Housing Crisis and Global Capitalism – under Corona
Bernd Belina (University of Frankfurt/Main) showed 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 into struggles against social inequality on a new scale.
Jennifer Ramme – the feminist movement in Poland
Jennifer Ramme (University of Frankfurt/Oder) reported on the 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 – municipal strategies in the multiple crises of social and ecological reproduction
Tomislav Medak reported about the Pirate Care network and the recent municipal work of the platform “Možemo!” (“we can!”) in Zagreb. Pirate Care is working on new care infrastructures. Highlighting questions of social and ecological reproduction as fundamental for a social democracy the network is contesting policies of surveillance, exclusion and criminalization.
To get an impression of the links between the talks please listen to the discussion:
Retrospective Essays on the Workshop “Building Power in Times of Pandemic”, May 22nd
During this online workshop we – researchers, activists and researcher activists coming from feminist, antiracist and right to the city movements – shared our ways of dealing with the pandemic. We have been discussing shifts from space-based to digital spheres in our political work, new forms of solidarity and new alliances as well as common translocal perspectives that emerged during the pandemic. Moreover, we have been comparing notes on new challenges like shrinking spaces for local political action, engaging new people and addressing situations of loneliness, isolation and fear during our political work. Facilitated by Bue Rübner Hansen and Manuela Zechner the workshop was based in activist mapping methods (the concept is presented in the article ‘building power in a crisis of social reproduction’) in order to sort out different spheres of relation and organization, such as informal, networked, inhabiting and space-based, organised, formal, representational and mediatic.
Two participants of the workshop contributed essays reflecting on the workshop discussion and exploring further applications in their movement practice during the pandemic and beyond. We are glad to present them on our homepage:
Coming from tenants and right to the city movements in Berlin, Sandrine Woinzeck is looking back on her political work during the pandemic. Based on these experiences she is making new connections between questions of care work and housing. The essay is available in German and French.
Click here to read: Fürsorge und die bedingungslose Solidarität im Kampf für das Recht auf Wohnen
Coming from antiracist organizing, Michel Jungwirth focusses on the mapping method used during the workshop. He points to a scattering of and sometimes competition between different political initiatives. From Michels point of view, the mapping method can be helpful during discussions in order to elaborate new connections and common strategies between different social movements. The essay is available in English.
Click here to read: Workshops and movement learning spaces in Pandemic Times
Photographs: AmMa 65 e.V. (no. 1) and Michel Jungwirth (no. 2)