Care revolutions

Curators: Michalina Augusiak, Kinga Kurysia, Ida Ślęzak

What would “return to normalcy” mean after the current crisis? Did the state of affairs from before the pandemic have anything to do with normalcy? To properly understand the context of the current collapse, we need to take a closer look at the effects of the decades of the dominance of liberal capitalism in the field of social reproduction. The reproduction sphere – which for years has been one of the staples of the considerations of feminist Marxism – encompasses all activities which aim at sustaining and regenerating human bodies and production capacities. The capitalist care economics deprecates and privatizes reproductive work, forcing it into tight constraints of a nuclear family or pushing it into low-paid, feminised sectors. Despite token declarations of appreciation for care and healthcare sector employees, the pandemic crisis did not bring any changes in the hierarchy of economic priorities.

How can we respond to this reproductive state of emergency? “Care revolutions” is a series of lectures and debates which undertake a diagnosis of the care crisis from the perspective that combines class and feminist approach, and puts in the centre the reflection on the place of reproduction in the social division of work. We want to draw particular attention to the mechanisms of gender, race and class distribution of care work, which disproportionately burdens especially poor and migrant women. We will analyse issues like global care chains (particularly in Eastern Europe), paid housework, or the impact of debt logic on the mechanisms of managing state expenditure in the reproduction sphere.

But within this series, we intend not only to diagnose the current state of affairs, but also look for glimpses of strategies which uncover for us the possibilities of the emergence of a new social organisation. We will look into the practices of resistance undertaken by unions and similar associations, reflecting on how to build political power to effectively fight for the execution of postulates of the care sector employees. We will consider how the way we think about care can transform the ways in which institutions operate. We also intend to include grass-roots support networks, and autonomous common good institutions, drawing inspiration from their strategy of taking control over means of reproduction. We consider following and supporting the current fight to be essential for the understanding of contemporary reproduction struggle, which is the source of an appeal for fairer distribution of resources in future.

The series will be concluded with a social forum – a space for the exchange of experiences and practices creating alternative forms for organising care.

The seminar is held on Zoom and streamed on our Facebook and YouTube channels, as well as recorded and archived on YouTube and in Resources on our website. Each event requires separate registration via the application form on our website. We will e-mail the link to the meeting to registered participants. To protect your image, we ask you to keep your cameras and microphones off during the entire event. But we do encourage you to join the discussion and send us questions on the chat. The moderators will ask them on your behalf.

The curatorial series expands on the grass-roots Socialist Feminism Seminar which was held from March to June 2020.


4.02.2021 | 18:00 | Thursday

Trade unions in the care and healthcare sector: demands, strategies, perspectives

Debate (in Polish) with the participation of trade union representatives: Głos Pracowników Opieki, Ogólnopolski Związek Pielęgniarek i Położnych, Ogólnopolski Związek Zawodowy Ratowników Medycznych, Inicjatywa Pracownicza, moderator: Katarzyna Rakowska (IS UW)


18.02.2021 | 18:00 | Thursday

Care discontinuities. Paid house work during the COVID-19 crisis 

Lecture by Anna Rosińska (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice)


4.03.2021 | 18:00 | Thursday

Eastern Europe, global division of reproductive work and transnational solidarity

Debate with the participation of Olena Lyubchenko (York University), representatives of Essential Autonomous Struggles Transnational, Julia Kubisa


18.03.2021 | 18:00 | Thursday

Debt management, or social cuts and reproduction. Care crisis perspective and strategies of resistance against the permanent financial crisis

Lecture by Izabela Desperak (University of Łódź)


8.04.2021 | 18:00 | Thursday

Are apps the future of work? The work of food delivery workers during the pandemic

Lecture by Dominika Polkowska (UMCS)


29.04.2021 | 18:00 | Thursday

Lecture by Anna Krawczak


5.05.2021 | 18:00 | Thursday

The art of care, or how to include care work in the artistic practice

Debate with Natalia Fiedorczuk, Weronika Szczawińska, Ania Nowak, Agata Adamiecka and Justyna Sobczyk