Practicing Tactical Solidarities: A Roundtable on Mutual Aid, Emergency, and Continuous Care
Jeanne van Heeswijk, Freehouse Radicalizing the Local, 2008–2013, installation Trainings for the Not-Yet at BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, 2019–2020, photo: Tom Janssen
With Afrikaanderwijk Cooperative, Rotterdam; the Basic Activist Kitchen, Utrecht; Brigate Volontarie per l’emergenza, Milan; and Homebaked Anfield, Liverpool
Coordinated communitarian responses to this crisis have abounded, with individuals and groups around the world organizing virtually overnight to provide response and support to many suddenly without shelter, food, or protection, or facing new personal, health, and economic instabilities. Terms like “mutual aid” have suddenly become commonplace in media discourse, along with emerging reliances on neighbors and localized networks.
In this roundtable, collectives and cooperatives from different parts of Europe—many of which are involved with BAK through various projects and initiatives—discuss their work before COVID-19, and outline how organizing priorities and formations have shifted in the moment and might continue to develop for the time to come. The event is also a space to compare and learn from strategies and shortfalls, and imagine the strengthening coordination of local solidarity networks within Europe and beyond borders.
Practicing Tactical Solidarities takes place alongside the launch of BAK’s online forum, Prospections. The first focus of the forum, Tactical Solidarities, offers some examples of practical and creative solidarity frameworks, considering what these have looked like in the past, and what they are becoming.