Balint Horvath in the Hague, Netherlands shared this example of social solidarity: “What I have found a fascinating medium to emerge during lock-down is the pavement drawing (“stoepkrittekening” in Dutch). The messages are often praising the healthcare professionals, but also more broadly anyone who is risking his/her health for others – I would argue that this includes for example a cashier in a supermarket too. Although messages are often not making political points, themselves are representing people’s desire in their own living environment to turn ordinary objects into local mediums through which messages are communicated and amplified because of their public character – similar to the front window (see Balint’s submission in the Project Gallery).”
Fasting in Solidarity
Claire Harmer decided to fast for Ramadan in solidarity with her Muslim students who are observing the holy month during the isolation and uncertainty of the pandemic. She aims to increase awareness about the difficulties refugees and asylum seekers face and to raise funds for three charities that serve these populations. She has raised over £1,100 so far. Read more:
Solidarity with Migrants in Brazil
Patricia Nabuco Martuscelli, 2019 ZUKOnnect Fellow at the Zukunftskolleg at the University of Konstanz, shared the following initiatives of social solidarity from immigrants and refugees in Brazil:
- A Syrian refugee has donated 900 meals for elderly and homeless people: https://br.noticias.yahoo.com/refugiado-sirio-doa-900-marmitas-194610701.html
- África do Coração (an organization from immigrants and refugees) has donated food and hygiene kits for immigrants and refugees. Video: https://www.facebook.com/Africora/videos/2314655401971478/
- More solidarity initiatives in Portuguese: https://www.migramundo.com/em-meio-a-lacunas-acoes-de-imigrantes-e-refugiados-contra-a-pandemia-ganham-destaque/https://www.migramundo.com/de-imigrante-para-imigrante-acoes-e-parcerias-em-sao-paulo-atenuam-efeitos-do-coronavirus/
Stories from the Global COVID-19 Pandemic
StoryCenter in Berkley, California had been helping people tell their stories for nearly three decades and offers both online and in-person digital storytelling workshops. In response to the pandemic, StoryCenter launched a series of free, online storytelling webinars and is gathering and sharing stories on its website.
Rapid Research Response to COVID-19 in Bangladesh
The BRAC Institute of Governance & Development in Bangladesh has deployed the Rapid Research Response to COVID-19 to “provide useful and credible insights to policymakers as well as practitioners such as BRAC on how to control the pandemic effectively while minimizing its socioeconomic impact… with a special focus on the lives and livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable people.”
Global Community Support Initiative
Rita Dhungel and Jordan Knapp organized a fundraiser to support the Joint Disabled Unity Awaz Centre in Nepal, which provides care and education to 48 vulnerable children. They write: “Despite the uncertainty, we have all banded together and support one another. We are hoping to raise support funds for our friend Til Bahadur Karki who runs a children’s home in Nepal. Our friends in Nepal are struggling to keep their home and feed themselves. We kindly ask for anything you are able to contribute, or support sharing our initiative.” The fundraiser is currently halfway to its goal of $5,000.
View from My Window
Barbara Duriau started a public group on Facebook called View from my window “to connect people from all around the World during these tough times.” Members are invited to each share a picture from their windows to represent their daily life during lockdown. There are currently 2.2 million members and thousands of posts from Texas to Finland to Tokyo.
What Community Looks Like
Lisa Morrow, an Australian in living in Istanbul, gathered “examples of the care, thoughtfulness, generosity and joyous creativity of people living in different parts of Turkey as we all work together to get through these difficult days” in her blog post: Coronavirus Turkey: What community looks like in Turkish daily life.
Solidarity in Uncertain Times
Yecid Ortega dedicated an episode of his podcast, Chasing Encounters, to “discussing what solidarity means and how it connects to ideas of community building,” going “beyond empathy and support… to acts of love and understanding others.”
The Arlington Public Library in Northern Virginia, USA launched Quaranzine, “a weekly collection of creative works from the Arlington community that documents how we responded to this strange time we find ourselves in.” Four issues have been published so far, featuring artwork, photography, essays, poetry, and other glimpses of hope and creativity during social distancing.