I can’t wait to see what it’s like on the outside now: a postcard from quarantine in downtown São Paulo

by Isabela Capovilla Romanetto and Matheus Capovilla Romanetto

That it was possible to dream in more depth is immediately related to how much more silent the city became. This is not only an effect of the absence of people on the streets, but also of changes in the mobility system, which for some time had less buses, and generally less cars around. Downtown São Paulo is an enemy of dream life.

Crisis, trust and pandemic

by Andrew Simon Gilbert

It has become increasingly common over recent years for academics to declare a “crisis of trust” in Western institutions. One of the main points of this crisis has been the healthcare system, with eroding trust in doctors and the institutions of biomedicine apparently evident in surveys, as well as the proliferation of “anti-vaxxer” ideology and people’s willingness to second-guess health professionals

The Utopian Counterfactual

by Gianpaolo Baiocchi

Living through the extended pandemic and its still unfolding aftermaths has been sobering for those of us who understand ourselves as critical scholars in the social sciences. Events have unleashed fast-evolving social demands, from #cancelrent to #defundthepolice that dialogue with the very same radical theory that we write and teach, and yet we have struggled to respond to this radicalism meaningfully, particularly as it pertains to radical possibility

Photo essay – Of Tea and Grit: Kolkata in the Time of COVID-19

by Nilanjana Deb (text) and Jishnu Basak (photos)

Until a vaccine is made cheaply and readily available for all, Kolkata – like all cities – will have to keep moving between phases of city-wide lockdown, limited lockdown within containment zones, and periodic easing of travel and other restrictions to enable businesses and institutions to continue to function.

Update: Living and Thinking Crisis online series

It’s been several weeks since we launched our special online series of essays and photo-essays; engaging with the pandemic in the real-time of its making. Our aim has been to document the thoughts (and lived-experience) of authors and artists from diverse locations, cultural/political contexts and from different intellectual perspectives. Below you will find a list of the articles published to date.

The new (un)reality of death: Reflections on death awareness and the ‘Corona Crisis’

by Michael Hviid Jacobsen

Almost overnight, death – after being absent for such a long time – re-entered the collective consciousness of contemporary society. Death, the constant doppelganger of life that we had been successful in keeping at arm’s length for so long, suddenly kicked in the door and made itself something to be talked about, acted upon, dealt with. This time, death (or at least the prospect of and potential for it) presents itself as the ‘Corona virus’, which within a few months has become a worldwide problem and transformed the way we live.

The Unexpected Effect of Coronavirus: The Re-Birth of Sociology [and Sociologists]?!?

by Izabela Wagner

We cannot spend our lives being blind and pretending that we are too weak to change the powerful system, especially those of us who are sociologists and scholars, who should be the ‘medical doctors of our societies’. Societies are our sick patients today, and not only because of coronavirus. Our societies are touched by callousness. By insensitivity to the violation of human rights. We, as members of that society, are also ill, because of our passivity. We are imprisoned by our conformism and focused only on ourselves.

Viral histories: thinking in a pandemic

by Dilip M Menon

Covid-19 has made us reflect on the human condition, the connection with unknown others, in our own societies as much as elsewhere. From Wuhan to Washington, from Johannisholm to Johannesburg, the virus laughs at national borders and travels through human hosts. Virality is however, trumped by nationality as nations put into place more and more restrictions on travel and movement and the body remains marked as ever by colour, class and caste.

The Virus in the Queues

by Beth Vale

In the queue, the language of ‘social distancing’ is loaded with meaning – illuminating the connections between physical distance and social disparity. Queues make visible the social distance between those who wait and (often far-removed) centres of authority.

Annual Agnes Heller Lecture: Harry Blatterer

Annual Agnes Heller Lecture Intimacy as Freedom: Friendship, Gender and Everyday Life  Dr Harry Blatterer, Macquarie University Wednesday 5 November 2014 5.00 – 6.30 pm Martin Building Lecture Theatre In intimate life, anything seems possible. Sexualities, lifestyles and identities appear to be merely a matter of individual proclivity and choice. Commitment is optional. The last…