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Who Cares? Care Workshops

Updated: Nov 17, 2023

Concept for research and educational workshops on questions of collective care and the shaping of caring relationships. For further elaboration read Alfredo Linguini's lecture notes

"Love today is more than a cultural ideal, Eva Illouz, for example, argues: it is a social foundation of the self, in the sense that the way we experience ourselves in romantic love, for example, is so incisive for our self-worth and self-esteem. 'It is precisely for this reason that we are again, and more than ever, in need of ethics in sexual and emotional relations,' she thus states. 'So because we are so vulnerable in intimate relationships, because we open ourselves to people, trust them and depend on them, we need ethics in this area along which to orient our actions.' [...] This responsibility applies to my own actions in my relationship, but equally to my reaction to circumstances that I did not intentionally initiate. [...|"

Şeyda Kurt: Radical Tenderness, p. 196

"TENDERNESS. Pleasure, but also disquieting appraisal of the beloved object's tender gestures, to the extent that the subject understands that it has no privilege over them." Roland Barthes

“So profoundly ingrained, domestic space has been deemed impossible to disembed, where the home as norm has been conflated with home as fact, as an un-remakeable given. Stultifying ‘domestic realism’ has no home on our horizon. Let us set sights on augmented homes of shared laboratories, of communal media and technical facilities. [...] The task before us is twofold, and our vision necessarily stereoscopic: we must engineer an economy that liberates reproductive labour and family life, while building models of familiality free from the deadening grind of wage labour.”

Laboria Cuboniks: Xenofeminist Manifesto, 0x15

Who cares is an educational offer and focal point for groups in which people are there for each other and want to benefit from the findings of (reproduction) labor and gender research. Who Cares is designed for and designs social spaces in which people develop emancipatory approaches to the practical management of care work. A particular focus is on mental health care work. Who Cares is also designed as a prevention program with regard to psychological overload and is developed in close exchange with psychologists and psychiatrists.

Within the framework of a research and educational workshop, various approaches in the sense of a radically tender way of relating can be tried out and reflected upon. Pedagogues, sociologists and other experts help to understand, prevent and overcome known problems in the field of care work that only seem to be individual or present themselves as individual. In doing so, the individually differently perceived care tasks can be recognized and critiqued as structured by domination; patriarchal, sexist, racializing, and capitalist immediacy can be denaturalized.

Furthermore, through the care workshop and beyond, different collectives can engage with each other to share experiences and make reference to the social dimension of (failing) care and individual/collective reproduction. The focus will be on questions of collectivization that go beyond subjectively set limits of friendly togetherness and, at the same time, have as their purpose the realization of the freedom of individuals.

In the face of intensified social emergencies, Who cares creates an educational offering that supports people in collectively addressing issues of private reproduction and care. The goal is to enable individual agency in solidary, tender ways of relating - and to make related perspectives on a good, self-determined life tangible for all people, beyond the dependence on patriarchally structured family concepts on the one hand and job-related loneliness as well as racialized and chauvinistic externalization of care on the other.

How can insights and techniques from the sociology of work, family, and gender be practically applied? How can we collectively create social security for us individuals, against the unsettling tendency of competition and precarity?

How do we tenderly shape relationships without unsettling care work?

How can a general, socially binding form of care take shape, taking into account existing friendships and other classical forms of relationships and with reference to progressive scientific and political developments?

How can we negotiate an ethics of intimacy in circles of friends, families, and other affinity groups?

How do we shape collective contexts in which we are bindingly there for each other without individuals being overburdened?

How do we deal with conflict in a radically tender way?

How do we collectivize the recognition, questioning and defense of personal boundaries?

How do we help each other deal with our insecurities? And to endure contradictions in our needs and desires?

How can we collectively negotiate standards of care and responsibility?

How can we create collective, reflexive care structures that do not make voluntary anonymity impossible?

Feel free to contact us if you are interested in an exchange on these topics.

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