Spaces of Solidarity
Transformative Practices and Makeshift Infrastructures for [a Post-Pandemic] Berlin
In times of crisis, many actors call for solidarity. However, ‘solidarity’ often only works as an empty signifier. At the same time, the pandemic reveals the societal relevance of solidarity, particularly in the face of social and political challenges, such as the precarization of work, racist discrimination, social exclusion processes, environmental pollution, and climate catastrophe. In this context, societal renegotiations within the central areas of social reproduction - work, housing and health – influence how and if we are in solidarity. But these are also the societal areas that are permanently transforming and highly contested and which determine social and spatial in- and exclusion. Hence, which solidarity practices can be understood as possible catalysts of a larger societal transformation?
The aim of the seminar ›Spaces of Solidarity‹ is to map places and spaces, social practices and infrastructures of solidarity in Berlin in order to analyze solidarity in crisis. What solidarity-based coping mechanisms emerge/have emerged in the pandemic? Examples are gift/donation fences, labor fights of gig and delivery workers, new community spaces and makeshift infrastructures (such as by LGBTQI+ or health collectives), neighborhood initiatives to support homeless or sick people. Students will map selected case studies in the multi-scalar fields of work, housing and health, in order to analyze the conditions for enabling solidarity, as well as the practices and infrastructures in which (old and new) solidarities are negotiated, as well as the multiple interdependencies between them.
Readings will introduce current debates on solidarity in urban and social science studies. In research-based analytical drawing and mapping projects, seminar participants are invited to research and document diverse practices building infrastructures for solidarity on different scales, including the involved actor-networks.
The seminar is part of the research project ›Transforming Solidarities. Practices and Infrastructures in the Migration Society‹ (BUA/ DFG). Within the project, Berlin is seen as a ›laboratory‹ of the migration society, while solidarity is seen as an answer to the challenge of social cohesion. More info: transformingsolidarities.net
Our seminar series ›Spaces of Solidarity‹ is funded by Hans Sauer Stiftung as part of their ›Sonderförderprogramm 2021: Die Krise als Chance?‹.
More info: https://www.hanssauerstiftung.de/sonderfoerderprogramm-2021/
© Monika Keiler