Intensifying inequality and violence have heightened the need to deepen our capacity to resist, offer concrete alternatives, and reproduce ourselves in the process. CareNotes Collective organizes directly on this terrain and seeks to record and amplify the experiences of those struggling for health autonomy in their own communities. Our challenge is to imagine how to expand these practices while defending our communities from the risks of cooption, state violence, and emotional trauma as well as financial domination.
Despite the continued violence of the state and private sector, efforts to protect our bodies and environment continue to emerge from those of us left with few other means of sustaining daily life. Yet those who are excluded from the basic right to housing, health, food, safe spaces, emotional wellbeing, and so many other needs, are vilified. Simultaneously, the efforts of care workers committed to our general well-being (educators, healthcare, farm workers, social workers, neighbors, mothers, autonomous networks) are also devalued in an endless restructuring of “crisis.” One strategy is recognizing the centrality of care workers—mothers, the elderly, the pathologized, migrants, LGBTQ+ communities, and autonomous networks—in creating sites of counterpower where we can collectively defend and care for one another while resisting the violence of capitalist life. Such collective care has the potential to liberate space and time, to transform workflows within and beyond traditional care spaces, and to link networks otherwise separated by wealth, race, expertise, and geography.
For Health Autonomy: Horizons of Care Beyond Austerity—Reflections from Greece
Common Notions 2020