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Inequalities, Community Resilience and New Governance Modalities in a Post-Pandemic World


Upcoming: panel at the Society of Social Studies of Science (4S) conference in Honolulu (8-11 November 2023)

Endure team members from Cluster 2 Carla Aguas, Marina Fontolan, Leda Gitahy (UNICAMP), Soner Barthoma and Mihai Varga (FU Berlin) will conduct a pannel in the framework of the 4S 2023 conference in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA this coming fall. The panel is set to be titled "Social aspects of the Covid-19 crisis: Inequalities, Resiliences, and Knowledge Production".

The Covid-19 crisis had affected the entire world differently. World inequalities became more apparent than ever before. Even today, not all countries and regions of the world have reliable access to Covid-19 vaccines, medicines, masks, oxygen or even information. This panel aims at discussing the Covid-19 crisis from a Science and Technology Studies perspective: thinking about the mid and long term effects of this crisis from the most varied STS perspectives. We are looking for papers that discusses issues related (but certainly not limited) to:

  1. Drivers of inequalities and new forms of (de-)mobilizations: how the various dimensions of inequalities (gender, race, ethnicity, age, and migratory status) have been reinforced or challenged during the pandemic;

  2. How different communities built resilience strategies to survive through the study of grassroots solidarity movements and the mobilization of  social groups and communities to generate social and political collective action;

  3. Governance and (De-)Mobilization: to analyze Covid-19 governance in different instances, exploring social, political and ethical consequences of these governance practices on social  inequalities, political systems, people's rights, and freedoms across the globe;

  4. Social Media and the Covid-19 pandemic: the sources  and promotion of dis and mis-information (as well as resistance discourses in form of public science and science disclosure endeavors)  in social and mainstream media and to assess  social media's empowering and repressive roles in the context of the pandemic.

Ahead of the conference, an introductory article by Dr. Marina Fontolan laying out the concept and aims of ENDURE has been featured in the 4S website. Click here to read it. 

Community Resilience Labs: ENDURE project in Colombia (July and August 2023)

Laboratories "Textile Activisms in the Pandemic" – Bogotá and Medellín

During the months of July and August 2023, we conducted two (2) laboratories in Bogota and Medellin with the objective of providing a space for recognition among the initiatives identified in those cities and collectively speculate on the characteristics and meanings of the textile activisms that emerged in Colombia between 2020 and 2022, taking as context the COVID - 19 pandemic and the social upheaval of 2021.

The invited initiatives to participate in the laboratories were identified from a public call made through social networks between March and June 2023. The results of the call offered us a broad overview of textile activisms and the causes they mobilize, being the information obtained the axis of reflection of these meetings.

The laboratories were configured as ephemeral exhibition scenarios to get to know each of the experiences from their textile pieces, making visible the materiality as a subject that generates interactions and embodies specific knowledge that configure modes of social mobilization that interweave public and private space, care and denunciation, clothing and textile posters to manifest social demands.

The purpose of the methodological proposal was to invite conversation, reflection and exchange of textile activism experiences, through the presentation of the results of the call. Thus, the geographical location of the participating initiatives was visualized, in Colombia, and in each of the cities, and a timeline with the main milestones of the social upheaval, the pandemic, and the dates of emergence of the different initiatives, which allowed to dimension spatially and temporally the incidence of these actions and the emotional communities, of sense and affection (Jimeno, 2010 Jimeno et al, 2019) that are constituted with the textile as process and materiality, evidencing networks that sustain and shelter organization and mobilization. Likewise, a circle of conversation was introduced around the specific experiences of the initiatives.

These meeting spaces in Bogota and Medellin made it possible to reflect on what makes textile to social mobilization and to advance in the characterization of what textile activism in Colombia has been in the context of the pandemic and the social upheaval.

Laboratory "A Textile View of Social Mobilization," Bogota

The purpose of this laboratory was to generate a space for socialization, speculation and experimentation through a collage and photo-embroidery workshop, in order to weave multiple views and experiences on what the textile embodies and makes possible in the street, the house and the square as clothing, company and form of expression of the social denunciations that emerged during the social upheaval of 2021 in Colombia.

This space was held on June 24, 2023 at the National University of Colombia UNAL, Bogotá headquarters; 13 people with diverse experiences participated: activists linked to the Artesanal Tecnológica seedbed, photographers who documented the social upheaval in Colombia and textile creators.

From a methodology of collective creation, it was proposed to the participants, prior to the laboratory, to select a photograph from those received in the public call made virtually between March and June 2023: "A textile view of social mobilization in pandemic times" with which they would be connected. For the day of the meeting, they were asked to bring a textile garment that accompanied them during the protests and social mobilization.

In the space, the participants shared their memories of the mobilization and those of their garments, and intervened the photograph previously selected by them with the photo-embroidery technique. The active listening, the exchange of experiences and the link with the materialities generated a space conducive to the creation of a collage that established relationships and bonds, through the spatial location and a series of colored threads, the intervened photographs and the garments. The result was an ephemeral collage-installation that allowed the construction of shared meanings and interpretations about the place that textile has in social mobilization, revealing it as territoriality, body, language, collective struggle and care. This creative and analytical input will be part of a visual essay on the place of the textile as clothing, company and form of expression of the social denunciations that emerged during the social upheaval of 2021 in Colombia.

Presentation of CGU initial findings (29 June 2023)

On Thursday 29th of June, Dr Ewan Kerr presented initial findings gathered from Glasgow Caledonian University's (GCU) work on Cluster 1 and Cluster 2.  Entitled 'Civil Society and Social Movements During Crisis: Mechanisms of Alternative Governance?', the presentation was delivered to over 100 senior civil servants, policymakers and government analyst professionals from across the UK government and devolved administrations as part of the ESRC-GSR's Actionable Insights Seminar.  Drawing upon research findings, the presentation argued that COVID-19 was an important stress test for the institutions and processes of governance in Scotland the UK, from which they did not emerge without fault.

It noted how the transformation of the state over the recent past has limited effective governance practices and undermined emergency response to crisis situations.  Evidence drawn from expert interviews and analysis of the response to the pandemic indicates that the long-term ability of state-governance actors to address serious social challenges requires further exploration of innovative and creative institutional reform of governance mechanisms.  For example, civil society organisations, (including social movements and trade unions) should be empowered to proactively identify, assess, and mitigate risks – as well as increase accountability of decision-making processes.  Moreover, by feeding into policy formulation, implementation and accountability, civil society organisations can foster greater resilience to future and ongoing crises.

ENDURE's Annual Meeting held in Zagreb (15/16 June 2023)

The annual meeting of the ENDURE project was held in Zagreb on 15 and 16 June, hosted by IRMO. The meeting was combined with a workshop to discuss the research conducted on governance responses to the Covid-19 pandemic and the effects of demobilising economic, political and social activity (lockdowns), as well as the emergence of new forms of mobilisation with widely varying ideological framing, which emerged against the backdrop of global pandemic control and state-regulated lockdowns.  Discussion at the annual meeting focused on research progress and comparative analysis in Brazil, Germany, Colombia, UK, Canada, Finland, USA, Croatia, Poland, Romania and Turkey. Partners also discussed different dissemination, strategies and publication pathways for research.

Cluster 2 biographical interview analysis workshop-V organized online (15 March 2023)

In the fifth round of the biographical interview analysis workshop, the team members in Cluster 2 focused on an interview conducted by Christian Fröhlich (FU Berlin team) with an elementary school teacher in Berlin.

Cluster 4 workshop in Wrocław (24-28 April 2023)

On 24-28 April, another meeting was held as part of Cluster 4's activity 'Mobilising (d/mis)information and communities: Governance Rhetoric, Polarisation and Empathy'. This time the meeting took place at the University of Wrocław, where the Polish team led by Dr Mateusz Karolak hosted Dr Emilia Palonen from the University of Helsinki and Dr Christian Fröhlich from Freie Universität Berlin. The attendance of Dr Palonen was linked to her five-day visit to the Institute of Sociology at the University of Wrocław, where she also gave a lecture on Ideology and Discourse Analysis. All teams worked intensively on the integration and preliminary analysis of data collected from Twitter. A full-day methodology workshop was held on Friday 28 April, which was also attended by other team members (Dr Piotr Pieńkowski, Dr Kleber Carrilho and Juho Pääkkönen). Special thanks to Dr Matti Pohjonen from University of Helsinki, who led the Tableau software training.

Cluster 2 biographical interview analysis workshop-IV organized online (17 April 2023)

In the fourth round of the biographical interview analysis workshop, the team members in Cluster 2 focused on an interview conducted by UNICAMP team in Brazil.

Cluster 2 biographical interview analysis workshop-III organized online (20 March 2023)

In the third round of the biographical interview analysis workshop, the team members in Cluster 2 focused on an interview conducted by Dr Susan Rottmann (OzU) in Turkey.

Cluster 2 biographical interview analysis workshop-II organized online (20 February 2023)

In the second round of the biographical interview analysis workshop, the team members in Cluster 2 focused on an interview conducted by FU Berlin team member Mihai Varga in Romania.

ENDURE’s Biannual project meeting (9 December 2022) – Online

ENDURE team members evaluated the work progress and reviewed the time plan. In general, the first six months into the project were dedicated to preparatory work in all clusters. Team members developed their cluster guidelines, organised meetings and training workshops to discuss conceptual and methodological aspects of their cluster theme.

UNICAMP Researcher Marina Fontolan (Brasil) spends one month at the FU Berlin (November 2022); the research stay received generous funding from the Berlin University Alliance

Cluster 2 biographical interview analysis workshop (9 November 2022) and Cluster 4 preparatory workshop (10 November 2022)

ENDURE team members working in Cluster 2 and 4 organised a two-day workshop in a hybrid format. On the first day, workshop participants analysed together a biographical interview done by the UWrocław team. The session was organized to discuss the anonymized biographical narrative interview conducted with an essential migrant worker, who used to work in food delivery during COVID-19 pandemic in Poland. Three main directions of analysis of this biographical interview which was transcribed and translated into English were identified and discussed during the meeting: essentiality of work, inequality, its effects, and consequences during pandemic as well as resilience in different crisis situations from biographical perspective. The Cluster members also discussed the next steps within the Cluster, the availability of following meetings, and decided to have such data analysis workshops periodically and preferably each month. The meeting was organized in a hybrid mode involving the other members of the team across the ocean via Microsoft Teams platform.

On the second day, the Cluster 4 team, led by University of Helsinki and Unicamp in Brasil organised a preparatory workshop to discuss further the research design.

Training workshop on Biographical Interview Method & Kino-eye (26-27 September 2022)

ENDURE team members gathered at the University of Wrocław for a two-day workshop (26/27 September 2022) on biographical interview method applied in Cluster 2 research. The training was provided by our colleagues at University of Wrocław, Adam Mrozowicki and Mateusz Karolak. Lead-PI Mihai Varga and his FU Berlin colleagues Christian Fröhlich and Ignacio Sar Chavez also attended the workshop. The rest of the team members joined the sessions online. In the second day of the training, the kino-eye method was introduced by our team member at Istanbul Ozyegin University, Susan Rottmann.

An exemplary kino-eye project presented by her is available here. This video is a kino-eye film, made by a Syrian refugee in Istanbul, Turkey, in January 2023. Kino-eye is an action research methodology in which participants freely express themselves through self-filming. After a short training, they choose what to share and how. Kino-eye films like this show us important dimensions of how people perceive their own cultural contexts and what is meaningful to them in their lives. Look for more films to be posted here soon!

ENDURE: the project started…

The ENDURE project started on June 1st, 2022, funded by the Trans-Atlantic Platform (T-AP) Recovery, Renewal and Resilience Call by the following public funding organizations: DFG (Germany), FAPESP (Brazil), AKA (Finland), HRZZ (Croatia), MINCIENCIAS (Colombia), NCN (Poland), NSF (USA), SSHRC (Canada) and UKRI-ESRC (UK)

The consortium met on June 9-10th of June, 2022 for the project kick-off meeting at Freie Universität Berlin to present and review the project objectives, activities, and work plan. The majority of the partners were present at the meeting. Several team members and our advisory board members joined online in several sessions.