[Themaintainers] CfP: Pirate Care. Centre for Postdigital Cultures Annual Conference.

Marcell Mars aka Nenad Romic ki.ber at kom.uni.st
Sun Feb 17 19:20:52 EST 2019

Dear colleagues,
we hope the below CfP (also:
https://www.piratecare.net/posts/call-for-papers/) might be of
interest to you.
Deadline for submissions: April 1, 2019
Contact: piratecare at gmail.com
Organizer: Centre for Postdigital Cultures (Coventry University, UK)


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Centre for Postdigital Cultures 2nd Annual Conference

19 & 20 June 2019
Square One, Coventry University

Submissions for the screening programme also welcome.
(see submission instructions at the end of the call)

The Centre for Postdigital Cultures (CPC), Coventry University, UK
invites contributions to its second annual conference, which will
explore the phenomenon of 'Pirate Care'. The term Pirate Care
condenses two processes that are particularly visible at present. On
the one hand, basic care provisions that were previously considered
cornerstones of social life are now being pushed towards illegality,
as a consequence of geopolitical reordering and the marketisation of
social services. At the same time new, technologically-enabled care
networks are emerging in opposition to this drive toward illegality.

Punitive neoliberalism (Davies, 2016) has been repurposing, rather
than dismantling, welfare state provisions such as healthcare, income
support, housing and education (Cooper, 2017: 314). This mutation is
reintroducing 'poor laws' of a colonial flavour, deepening the lines
of discrimination between citizens and non-citizens (Mitropolous,
2012: 27), and reframing the family unit as the sole bearer of
responsibility for dependants.

However, against this background of institutionalised 'negligence'
(Harney & Moten, 2013: 31), a growing wave of mobilizations around
care can be witnessed across a number of diverse examples: the recent
Docs Not Cops campaign in the UK, refusing to carry out documents
checks on migrant patients; migrant-rescue boats (such as those
operated by Sea-Watch) that defy the criminalization of NGOs active in
the Mediterranean; and the growing resistance to homelessness via the
reappropriation of houses left empty by speculators (like PAH in
Spain); the defiance of legislation making homelessness illegal (such
as Hungary's reform of October 2018) or municipal decrees
criminalizing helping out in public space (e.g. Food Not Bombs'
volunteers arrested in 2017) .

On the other hand, we can see initiatives experimenting with care as
collective political practices have to operate in the narrow grey
zones left open between different technologies, institutions and laws
in an age some fear is heading towards 'total bureaucratization'
(Graeber, 2015: 30). For instance, in Greece, where the bureaucratic
measures imposed by the Troika decimated public services, a growing
number of grassroots clinics set up by the Solidarity Movement have
responded by providing medical attention to those without a private
insurance. In Italy, groups of parents without recourse to public
childcare are organizing their own pirate kindergartens (Soprasotto),
reviving a feminist tradition first experimented with in the 1970s. In
Spain, the feminist collective GynePunk developed a biolab toolkit for
emergency gynaecological care, to allow all those excluded from the
reproductive medical services  -  such as trans or queer women, drug
users and sex workers  - to perform basic checks on their own bodily
fluids. Elsewhere, the collective Women on Waves delivers abortion
pills from boats harboured in international waters - and more
recently, via drones - to women in countries where this option is

Thus pirate care, seen in the light of these processes - choosing
illegality or existing in the grey areas of the law in order to
organize solidarity - takes on a double meaning: Care as Piracy and
Piracy as Care (Graziano, 2018).

There is a need to revisit piracy and its philosophical implications -
such as sharing, openness, decentralization, free access to knowledge
and tools (Hall, 2016) - in the light of transformations in access to
social goods brought about by digital networks. It is important to
bring into focus the modes of intervention and political struggle that
collectivise access to welfare provisions as acts of custodianship
(Custodians.online, 2015) and commoning (Caffentzis & Federici, 2014).
As international networks of tinkerers and hackers are re-imagining
their terrain of intervention, it becomes vital to experiment with a
changed conceptual framework that speaks of the importance of the
digital realm as a battlefield for the re-appropriation of the means
not only of production, but increasingly, of social reproduction
(Gutiérrez Aguilar et al., 2016). More broadly, media representations
of these dynamics - for example in experimental visual arts and cinema
- are of key importance. Bringing the idea of pirate ethics into
resonance with contemporary modes of care thus invites different ways
of imagining a paradigm change, sometimes occupying tricky positions
vis-à-vis the law and the status quo.

The present moment requires a non-oppositional and nuanced approach to
the mutual implications of care and technology (Mol et al., 2010: 14),
stretching the perimeters of both. And so, while the seminal
definition of care distilled by Joan Tronto and Berenice Fisher sees
it as 'everything that we do to maintain, continue, and repair "our
world" so that we can live in it as well as possible' (Tronto &
Fisher, 1990: 40), contemporary feminist materialist scholars such as
Maria Puig de La Bellacasa feel the need to modify these parameters to
include 'relations [that] maintain and repair a world so that humans
and non-humans can live in it as well as possible in a complex
life-sustaining web' (Puig de La Bellacasa, 2017: 97). It is in this
spirit that we propose to examine how can we learn to compose
(Stengers, 2015) answers to crises across a range of social domains,
and alongside technologies and care practices.

We invite proposals for 20 minute presentations on the theme of Pirate
Care as outlined above. We welcome submissions addressing a wide range
of topics in response to one or more of the following sub-themes:

Criminalisation of Care: including responses to legal attacks to NGO
work in the Mediterranean; state-sanctioned violence against
healthcare practitioners (Buissonniere, Woznick, and Rubenstein,
2018); the erosion of reproductive medicine provisions and
self-determination rights for women; campaigns to decriminalize
sexwork and regularize domestic workers.

Care Struggles: histories of grassroots and autonomous organizing
around care / for access to care. Examples might include histories of
workers' mutualism; Black Panthers' free clinics; ACT UP and AIDS
organizing around medical research; feminist struggles for free
abortion rights; marginalized constituencies and underground
solidarity networks.

Hacking Care: care practice in relation to technologies and tools,
open softwares and oppositions to the patent regimes. Relevant stories
might include: open source medicine; right to repair and medical
devices; open pharma; open science; biohacking practices.

Piracy as Care: focused on practices of civil disobedience that
deliberately defy intellectual property and other laws in order to
care for practices, ecologies, or constituencies. Examples include
shadow libraries' use of internet to support or coordinate around
specific social reproductive needs; tinkering and readaptation of
technological objects; and digitally-supported systems to support
better care of common goods.

We welcome contributions from academics, practitioners, artists, and
activist alike. The programme of talks will be accompanied by a film
programme addressing the conference theme. Film submissions for
inclusion are also welcome.

Proposed contributions for papers should include:
* a presentation title;
* a short abstract (max 350 words);
* a short biographical note ( max 150 words)

Proposed contributions from artists and filmmakers should include:
* a presentation title and brief synopsis (max 250 words);
* a link to the work;
* a short biographical note ( max 150 words)

Please be aware that our facilities will allow for a proper theatrical
screening; the digital format is preferred but you can reach out the
conference organisers at the email below in case your prospect
submission is in other formats.
Please send your submission no later than April 1, 2019 to piratecare at gmail.com
A notification of acceptance will be circulated by mid-April 2019.
Limited travel funding will be made available to conference
participants on a needs-based basis. Details on how to apply for this
will be made available following paper acceptance.
The conference will be a child-friendly environment.

About the CPC
The Centre for Postdigital Cultures (CPC) explores how innovations in
postdigital cultures can help us to rethink our ways of being and
doing in the 21st century. Our research draws on cross-disciplinary
ideas associated with open and disruptive media, the posthumanities,
and the Anthropocene to promote a more just and sustainable
'post-capitalist' knowledge economy.
See https://www.coventry.ac.uk/research/areas-of-research/postdigital-cultures/
for more detail.

Aguilar R.G., Linsalata L. and M.L.N. Trujillo, 2016. 'Producing the
common and reproducing life: Keys towards rethinking the Political.'
In: Dinerstein A. (eds) Social Sciences for an Other Politics.
Palgrave Macmillan.
Buissonniere,M., S. Woznick, and L. Rubenstein, 2018. 'The
Criminalization of healthcare', University of Essex,
Caffentzis, G. and Federici, S., 2014. Commons against and beyond
capitalism. Community Development Journal, 49(suppl_1), pp.i92-i105.
Cooper, M., 2017. Family values: Between neoliberalism and the new
social conservatism. MIT Press.
Custodians Online, 2015. 'In solidarity with Library Genesis and
Sci-Hub', 30th November, http://custodians.online/.
Davies, W., 2016. 'The new neoliberalism'. New Left Review (101), 121--134
de La Bellacasa, M.P., 2017. Matters of care: Speculative ethics in
more than human worlds (Vol. 41). University of Minnesota Press.
Fisher, B. and J. C. Tronto, 1990. 'Toward a feminist theory of care',
in Circles of Care: Work and Identity in Women's Lives, ed. Emily K.
Abel and Margaret K. Nelson, Albany: SUNY Press.
Graeber, D., 2015. The utopia of rules: On technology, stupidity, and
the secret joys of bureaucracy. Melville House.
Graziano, V. 2018. 'Pirate Care - How do we imagine the health care
for the future we want?', Medium, 5th October
Hall, G., 2016. Pirate philosophy: for a digital posthumanities. MIT Press.
Harney, S. and Moten, F., 2013. The undercommons: Fugitive planning
and black study, Minor Compositions.
Mitropoulos, A., 2012. Contract & contagion: From biopolitics to
oikonomia. Minor Compositions.
Mol, A., Moser, I. and Pols, J. eds., 2015. Care in practice: On
tinkering in clinics, homes and farms (Vol. 8). transcript Verlag.
Stengers, I. (2015) In Catastrophic times: Resisting the coming
barbarism. Open Humanities Press.
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