The global Covid-19 pandemic has (re)named care as essential infrastructure. Those, who perform caring labors, were defined as living infrastructure, as care was, and is being stretched to the limits. The realities of care are defined by austerity, precarization, and exhaustion. The imaginaries of care are filled with ethics, relationality, choice, empathy or kindness. Arguing that there is still a lack of everyday language to articulate labours, experiences, and feelings of, care, and that there is furthermore a profound lack of public articulation of care, this workshop connects the widely held notion that care is invisibilized to this lack of ways of speaking care. Examining words used to speak about care, including empathy, exhaustion, choice, skills, competence, exploitation, persistence, humility, feminization, interruption, or conflict, to name but a few, the interest is on how words of care produce socio-environmental effects at the level of material semiosis and political imaginaries.
This workshop collectively examines meanings, practices, ethics, politics, and imaginaries closely associated with care. Together, we will talk, write, and walk.
Elke Krasny is Professor for Art and Education at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. She is a feminist cultural theorist, urban researcher, curator, and author. Krasny’s scholarship addresses questions of ecological and social justice at the present historical conjuncture with a focus on caring practices in architecture, urbanism, and contemporary art. Together with Angelika Fitz, she edited “Critical Care. Architecture and Urbanism for a Broken Planet together (MIT Press, 2019). Together with Sophie Lingg, Lena Fritsch, Birgit Bosold, and Vera Hofmann she edited Radicalizing Care. Feminist and Queer Activism in Curating (Sternberg Press, 2021). Her forthcoming book Living with an Infected Planet. Covid-19 Feminism and the Global Frontline of Care develops a feminist perspective on imaginaries of war and realities of care in pandemic times.