Women, feminists, and the LGBTQ community played a crucial part in the 2020 protests in Belarus. Various expressions of solidarity related to practices of caring for one another became the basis for a new (self)understanding of Belarusian society as such. Belarusian scholars talked about sisterhood in prison, protest as care, and about creating an infrastructure of care. Olga Shparaga reflects on the revolutionary forms of care, solidarity, and sisterhood in the book Die Revolution hat ein weibliches Gesicht: Der Fall Belarus [The Revolution Has a Female Face: The Case of Belarus]. In 2020, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the frontline militarization of care, and the rallying call of returning to business-as-usual, feminist activists, researchers, and policymakers came together to draft feminist recovery plans. This invites the larger cultural, social, and political question: What kinds of imaginaries are needed in order to imagine a process of feminist recovery from colonial-capitalist patriarchy? Elke Krasny reflects on feminist recovery in the book Living with an Infected Planet. Covid-19, Feminism, and the Global Frontline of Care. Both books will serve as a starting point for a conversation.
Elke Krasny is a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Krasny focuses on concerns of care, reproductive labor, social and environmental justice, commemorative practices and transnational feminisms in art, architecture, infrastructures, and urbanism. Together with Angelika Fitz she edited Critical Care: Architecture and Urbanism for a Broken Planet (MIT Press, 2019). Together with Lara Perry, she edited Curating as Feminist Organizing (Routledge, 2023) and Curating with Care (Routledge, 2023). Her book Living with an Infected Planet: Covid-19 Feminism and the Global Frontline of Care (transcript publishers, 2023) focuses on militarized care essentialism and feminist recovery plans in pandemic times.
Olga Shparaga is a philosopher and writer. Shparaga is co-founder of the Fem Group in the Coordination Council around the Belarusian opposition politician Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. As a member of the feminist group, she was imprisoned in October 2020. In order to avoid a criminal trial she fled to Vilnius. Olga Shparaga lives in exile and has since July 2022 been a fellow at the Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna. In summer 2021, her book Die Revolution hat ein weibliches Gesicht: The Case of Belarus was published by Suhrkamp Verlag. The book was published in Russian in Vilnius in 2021 and awarded the Ales Adamovich Literature Prize of the Belarusian PEN Centre in 2022. In December 2022, the book was published with a new additional chapter in Lithuanian.
The Ecologies of Care 2023 lecture series is organized by Elke Krasny at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and Urška Jurman at the Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory in Ljubljana.