Frontida: Towards a radical imagination of care

15 June 2019

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Venue: Make Your Own Shift, The Castle Climbing Centre, Green Lanes, London N4 2HA

Organiser: Isabel Gutierrez Sanchez

Isabel Gutiérrez Sánchez is an architect and anthropologist by training. Her work explores practices and spaces of life in common within contemporary urban contexts marked by widespread processes of neoliberalisation and crisis. Drawing on a cross-disciplinary set of methods, she tries her projects to grasp, present and/or propose forms of living together capable of breaking with current tendencies that isolate us in private spaces while precarising our livelihoods, diluting our social relationships and depleting the environment.

A decade after the international financial crash, crisis has become a pervading condition across the world and thus the new “global reality”. Dispossession, exclusion, suppression, loss and/or precariousness are today established normalities for the majority of the world population. Seeing our contemporary context from the lens of social reproduction enables a holistic understanding of this worldwide critical situation, for the multiple crises we face constitute different manifestations of a socioeconomic system that finds it increasingly difficult to sustain itself simply because it is doing away with the ways of sustaining life on our planet. Today, the crisis of social reproduction has acquired a global scale expanding across all capitalist societies and enhancing those forms of organising our material and social sustenance that are grounded in long-established social inequalities. However, the current multi-faceted crisis has become also a “truth regime” through which the dominant powers have installed a perennial state of exception. The regime of chronic-crisis is sustained on “TINA discourses”, which are deployed to make us believe that “there-is-no-alternative” so they can continue governing us according to their extractivist interests.

We propose to fight this regime of chronic-crisis by feeding an emancipatory social imagination of care that allows us to collectively envision alternative forms of organising the sustenance of our own selves, our societies and our planet. In other words, to imagine new ways of how care and reproductive needs can be provided, by whom, in which conditions and in which spaces. We invite contributors to create “Frontida: Towards a radical imagination of care”, a manifesto in the form of a (trans)urban utopia.

In this one-day workshop we will discuss, imagine and produce the first draft of “Frontida”, which will later be translated into a self-publication that will be sent to each creator and distributed to the general public. Three working groups will be responsible for the outline of the main ideas in each corresponding area, namely organisational units, spaces and networks. An additional group will devise how to get to Frontida. At the end of the day, those will be presented and discussed in a plenary session in which a common draft will be jointly agreed.