We are in unprecedented times and there is a narrative around COVID-19 that reigns, which demands increased social distance, isolation, and fear. The idea is that this distance and isolation will lead to individual, community, and national health. This narrative is both rooted in and deeply supportive of a Trump-ist ideology, perpetuating a breakdown of community.
It is against this backdrop and with this goal that we are launching the ARNA Social Solidarity project, to take place completely online, here on the knowledgedemocracy.org site. We envision this Social Solidarity project as a virtual, participatory photovoice approach to gathering photographic and text-based insights from around the world of how people are experiencing and seeing solidarity every day. While we welcome all submissions on this theme, our priorities are to provide space for:
- Healthcare, homecare, daycare and all other ‘essential’ workers (e.g. grocery stores, gas stations, etc.) to express social solidarity and to be recognized for their work;
- Critiquing/examining/exposing issues of social isolation and marginalization in relation to refugees and immigrants being contained;
- Expressing concern for people in jails, prisons and other involuntary institutionalization settings, and at the same time, critiquing/examining/exposing issues of invisibility and dehumanization in relation to inmates and the institutionalized in general;
- Expressing social solidarity with patients as they deal with recovery from COVID-19.
In the midst of a social distancing reality, those of us who make up the Action Research Network of the Americas call for a new narrative, a counter-narrative to the need for increased distance, separation, and isolation. We have seen and experienced an increase in social solidarity that defies distance and reaches over and across intersectional difference. Please submit an original photograph that, to you, represents social solidarity in times of social distancing, along with a short (1-5 sentences) description of meaning of the photo for you to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please post in whatever language is most relevant in your reality. We will post submissions as soon as we can after they are received. The full call is provided below in multiple languages.
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Project Leaders: Meagan Call-Cummings, Lonnie Rowell, Melissa Hauber-Özer