Mutual Aid during the Covid-19 Crisis
What happens when our society is faced with an existential crisis?
The world's media was quick to weave a narrative of selfish individualism, full of empty supermarket shelves and con-men. However, if you scratch the surface, you find a different story of community and self-sacrifice. Looking at thirteen countries and regions, including India, Rojava, China and the US, the personal accounts in the book weave together to create a larger picture, revealing a universality of experience - a housewife in Istanbul supports her neighbour in the same way as a punk in Portland, and a grandmother in Italy does.
Moving beyond the present, these stories reveal what an alternative society could look like, and reflect the skills and relationships we already have to create that society, challenging institutions of power that have already shown their fragility.
Marina Sitrin is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at SUNY Binghamton, New York. She is the author of Horizontalism: Voices of Popular Power in Argentina (AK Press, 2006); Everyday Revolutions: Horizontalism and Autonomy in Argentina (Zed Books, 2012), the co-author of They Can’t Represent US! Reinventing Democracy from Greece to Occupyo, 2014).
Colectiva Sembrar is an international group, formed of mostly women activists and writers.
Khabat Abbas is an independent journalist and video producer based in Rojava, with interests in Kurdish folklore songs and researching feminism.
Carla Bergman is a mother, filmmaker and budding poet who loves to zoom in on the in-between happenings and issues, and bust binaries.
Chia-Hsu Jessica Chang is a Ph.D. candidate at Binghamton University, who thinks about the politics of de-naming and re-naming, the technologised body, and Asia as method.
Lais Duarte is a Ph.D. candidate at The City University of New York (CUNY), a proud pet mama, and dreams of and fights for a socially equitable and loving world.
Raquel Lima is an anti-racist activist and loves crossroads. She is a poet, art-educator, and Ph.D. Candidate at Coimbra University.
Eleanor Finley, an activist-anthropologist, lives in Italy, and is an editor at ROAR Magazine.
Han Gil Jang is a writer, a visual artist, and a translator currently based in Seoul.
Neil Howard is an academic and activist based at the University of Bath, in the UK.
Midya Khudhur is a humanitarian worker, Fulbright Alumna, a researcher in Kurdish cinematic and literary studies.
Liz Mason-Deese is a translator, researcher, cartographer and feminist activist living in Buenos Aires.
Boaventura Monjane is a Mozambican postdoctoral fellow at the International Research Group on Authoritarianism and Counter-strategies of the RLS, based at PLAAS/UWC, South Africa.
Nancy Pineiro is an Argentinian translator engaged in and writing about counter-hegemonic translation and socio-environmental struggles.
Seyma Ozdemir is a doctoral student, researching migration, political economy, and feminist theories.
Ariella Patchen is a student, artist, activist, and dreamer about what it means to build a revolutionary new world.
EP & TP are involved in anti-authoritarian assemblies in Greece.
Magal Rabasa lives in Portland, Oregon with her family. She writes about and makes radical autonomous media.
Debarati Roy is a Ph.D. student at SUNY Binghamton, New York, where she engages untold stories of migration, belonging, and social and cultural mobility.
Emre Sahin is a participant and researcher of social movements and revolutionary transformation in Rojava.
Ji Young Shin teaches comparative literature at Yonsei University and explores and participates in minority communes in East Asia.
Marina Sitrin, is a mother, dreamer of a free world, and participates and writes about societies in movement.
Vanessa Zettler, Brazilian, living in Sao Paulo where she does community activism through music, and is a teacher, sociologist, translator, and writer.
'Just what we need so desperately in this moment. ... A beautiful and important book.' - John Holloway
'In the midst of a global crisis, we must listen, learn, and build with people from around the world - the essays and insights collected here help us do just that. A crisis is a turning point, and this valuable book can serve as a guide to a better future.' - Astra Taylor, director of 'What Is Democracy?'
'These stories teach us of the enormous potential for love and resistance in a world threatened by apocalyptic capitalism.' - Mike Davis
'Mutual aid, solidarity and commoning become most visible during periods of deep crises. This book inspires us all on the path to social change.' - Massimo De Angelis
Introduction by Marina Sitrin
About Colectiva Sembrar
1. Greater Middle East
Rojava - Khabat Abbas and Emre Sahin
Turkey - Seyma Ozdemir
Iraq - Midya Khudhur
2. South and East Asia
Taiwan - Chia-Hsu Jessica Chang
South Korea - Ji Young Shin (Translated by Han Gil Jang)
India - Debarati Roy
3. Southern Africa
South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique - Boaventura Monjane
Portugal - Lais Gomes Duarte and Raquel Lima
Italy - Eleanor Finley
Greece - EP & TP
UK - Neil Howard
5. Turtle Island (North America)
Canada, the USA and Mexico - Magali Rabasa and Carla Bergman with Ariella Patchen and Seyma Ozdemir
6. South America
Argentina - Nancy Viviana Pineiro and Liz Mason-Deese
Brazil - Vanessa Zeteler
Concluding to Begin by Marina Sitrin
Hardcover ISBN: 9780745343174
eBook ISBN: 9780745343181
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