Centre for Spatial, Environmental and Cultural Politics

Corona diaries | members’ writing on the 2020 corona pandemic

Across UOB colleagues are sharing their thoughts and personal experiences of the pandemic. We invite members to share their experiences as they are happening, their daily thoughts and responses to all aspects of Centre politics- environmental spatial cultural- as well as to read the politics of corona through their personal lives. We invite you to create ethnographic material written down as (auto-)ethnographic diaries, that records what is happening in your environment as the ferocity, deceptiveness or slow creep of the virus unhinges our lives and workplaces and knocks them into a somewhere else. This is a unique opportunity to generate ethnographic material which may make it possible our us to collectively reconstruct our personal and political responses at this moment of crisis. How can we use communities of activism at this moment to build new ethical communities of care, support and loud opposition to the variegated curtailment of citizen rights and freedoms – to the news that medics will be issued guidance on whose lives to prioritise? What can the Centre do in terms of building community solidarity and a community of support for each other? How will the growing threat of this virus infection interplay with other viral, toxic, infectious or terrifying atmospheres in ours and others’ lives? Given the likelihood we will co-exist with this virus for the long-term, is it also the case that the world may never again return to way it was.  The retrospective interpretation will also likely be valuable (and controversial) in the public sphere when it later comes, among other things, to assessing how this crisis was handled, and in bringing into stark relief the political consequences of crisis management by governments, organisations, and communities, as well as drawing lessons for the future. This is not just a simple writing or academic exercise but also a deeply personal one as the meanings of our relationships, our lives, sickness, perhaps deaths, and distress cries take centre stage at the start of this spring and perhaps through the next four seasons. Sharing our writing is also a way for us to keep connected, sane, to forge new hope, and new politics.

Nichola Khan • March 26, 2020


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