This spring I was supposed to spend time in the Netherlands and Spain, but like for many other researchers, my stay abroad was cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Two months visiting colleagues in person quickly turned into physical distancing from fellow humans. Like for many others, my research has been affected by this intensive setup with either children, partner(s) and other fellow inhabitants around 24/7, or no one around at all.
After acknowledging my initial shock and starting the immediate reorganisation of our life now bound at home, I started to reach out professionally. Again, I was not alone, since many email lists delivered dozens of messages per day from colleagues around the world. Twitter was my main source of COVID-19 related information for a couple of weeks due to the brilliant scholars I follow. This goes to show how research is inherently international.
I’m in a privileged position to have access to a stable internet connection at home. It is such a lifeline! In mid-march I reached out to the Feminisms and Degrowth Alliance (FaDa) and soon some enthusiastic members had set out a first virtual meeting among the network. It was a great meeting with many voices around the world. As a result, we decided to make a statement. The process included many meetings and working groups and it all was amazingly facilitated by members of the community. Finally, we published a shorter Feminist Degrowth Reflections on COVID-19 and an extended text that forms a basis for a collective research notebook. Lately, I’ve been involved with coordinating translations to other languages and those links are available after the short and extended versions.
The work of FaDa continues, as we plan to have a series of virtual open discussions related to care income, transformations to feminist degrowth and feminist degrowth analysis of ecofascism. These sessions are open to the members of FaDA, which is open to everyone interested. Welcome!
Thanks to FaDa, my spring has also included international research and activism.
Now it is mid-May and we would’ve been back from our stay abroad. My initial disappointment of a cancelled research visit has faded. Mostly since the past 2 months have been punctuated by meetings with FaDa members globally. What an amazing community of focused, compassionate, capable, intelligent and great people! Without the coronavirus outbreak, everyone’s lives would’ve been different this spring. But thanks to FaDa, my spring has also included international research and activism.
On a final note, my spring spurt in activism and research collaboration would have not been possible without my partner who has taken care of our children. This was the plan for the research visit and now this arrangement took place at home. My sympathies to everyone who have to ensure their livelihood while taking care of others at home. Most likely you are not reading this post, at least not these final lines, because you are too busy with everything else. This is why we need feminist degrowth.