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Behind the Mask Online Meetup: Collective Care: Community Responses to COVID-19




Disruption Network Lab




Nathan Young, Jorge Florez, Marcell Mars & Tomislav Medak



Ahead of the 23rd conference BEHIND THE MASK: Whistleblowing During The Pandemic (18-20 March 2021), Disruption Network Lab invites you for an evening on community responses in the fight against COVID-19, with speakers from the Coronavirus Tech Handbook, #ACCOUNT4COVID and the Pirate Care network. These initiatives, though different in their focus, have each worked on collecting and documenting resources for community actions addressing the coronavirus pandemic. The guests will speak about how to organise such collections, how to involve different communities, and what the learnings have been so far.

The Coronavirus Tech Handbook is a crowdsourced collection of tools, services and resources relating to COVID-19 response. It was the largest online library of tools in the early days of the crisis. Their community gathered thousands of resources and created communities of doctors, data scientists and PPE manufacturers, with over 100 news articles mentioning them. Nathan Young will talk about making projects easy to join, trusting the public and the mistakes he made.

#Account4COVID is a space for curating conversations on transparency and accountability related to COVID-19 pandemic in Africa. African innovators use the platform to exchange approaches and lessons to improve how their governments respond to COVID on issues that range from the use of loans and donations, the effective provision of services and subsidies, and ensuring equity in distribution of vaccines and economic reactivation. The platform has now merged into the COVID-19 Transparency and Accountability Project (CTAP).

The Pirate Care research project and network wishes to map and connect collective practices that are emerging in response to the neoliberal “crisis of care”. Such pirate care practices for example provide pregnancy terminations where those are illegal, offer health support where institutions fail, self-organise childcare where public provision does not extend to everyone, liberate knowledge where access is denied. Crucially, they share a willingness to openly disobey laws and executive orders, and politicise that disobedience to contest the institutional status quo. To foster collective learning processes from these pirate care practices, they have been working on a collaboratively-written Pirate Care Syllabus and in the early period of the pandemic on a set of notes documenting organising of care titled “Flatten the Curve, Grow the Care”.

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