Covid 19 and the measures that are being taken to stop this pandemic are firmly affecting the lives of peoples and communities in and across Belgium, albeit not in even ways. As our homes are transforming into permanent zoom-offices and home-schooling units, there is a politics of labour emerging from the pandemic that deepens historic inequalities of class, race and gender. Women are still bearing the brunt of the domestic and care work on top of their other work shifts, while the non-teleworkable work of cleaning hospitals, stocking supermarket shelves, and nursing sick patients- often performed by people of colour, is mostly undervalued and precarious despite being deemed ‘essential’. Poorer urban communities who have less access to private gardens and swimming pools and are dependent on the public sphere for survival and leisure, are increasingly subjected to police violence and surveillance.
As Covid19 is enforcing new enclosures of public services and spaces, we urgently need new commons to re-organise our care, health, housing, food and life in general. During this transdisciplinary workshop with Silvia Federici we will use the lens of social reproduction (i.e. the work of keeping people alive and healthy on a daily and intergenerational basis) to understand and resist the graduated ways in which a supposedly gender- and colour-blind virus affects and targets communities in and across Belgium.
We invite scholars, artists, and/or activists with an interest in feminism, anti-racism and/or agro-ecology for an afternoon/evening of joyful militancy on how we can collectively re-enchant the world, and re-imagine and re-build communal infrastructures of life and social reproduction.
Starting from two cases in Belgium (e.g. on the in/outsourcing of cleaners and on the enclosures of the beach), we aim to collectively create a pamphlet with Silvia that will record and respond to the urgent questions of this moment of global crisis and its opportunities for a new commons. If you would like to participate, then please fill in this form.
Organising Collective: Kunsthal Gent, Omar Jabary Salamanca (ULB), Julie Carlier (UGent), Siggie Vertommen (UGent), Jesse Jones.