Complicating Care

Complicating Care

This series holds a collection of articles by artists and writers who share the ways in which their practices, communities, and experiences engage with the complex and contradictory notion of care.

The Complicating Care series offers a look at the way “care” is taken up in artistic practice and by artists’ communities, with an eye toward its relationship to intersecting oppressions, social and environmental justice, and impulses towards decolonization. The series offers reflections from a collection of international writers, artists, and activists who examine care from within their differing cultural and geopolitical contexts.

On a basic level, the term care as we use it here refers to looking-after and providing for needs, the mending, upkeep and maintenance of bodies, nervous systems, and the earth—it has been described variously as a set of practices, a strategy, and a process. Within the western-European context, the notion of care is complicated by its relationship to the capitalist, settler state, both in the case where care and its associated labour is undervalued or rendered invisible, and on the flip side when it is outsourced and monetized. 

The Complicating Care series will draw from writers and artists who are thinking about care for the more-than-human; care and its relationship to labour; the pitfalls of commoditized self-care versus work that looks at rest and trauma; commemoration and grieving; alternative economies; and radical accessibility and its relationship to care.  Further, the series will ask how vulnerability, intimacy, and reciprocity—with and between the human and nonhuman—complicate and enliven the work of care at this time of ongoing social and environmental rupture.

Banner Image: This stitched portrait is part of The Passage Memorial by selma banich and the Women to Women Collective in Zagreb, Croatia. Hand-dyed and hand-sewn, it depicts Cyrille’s memorial stitch for six-year-old Madina from Afghanistan. She died in 2017 in a train crash near Šid, on the Croatian-Serbian border, shortly after her family was pushed back from Croatia to Serbia. 

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