Organisers: USI-visiting fellow Bilge Serin (University of Glasgow) and Esther van Zimmeren (MLL)
Collaboration between USI, Law Faculty (Metropolitan Legal Lab)

Keynote: The COVID-19 pandemic, an unexpected global crisis, has changed everyday life in a short period of time while creating a global emergency. Communities have rapidly responded to this fast-moving situation by creating bottom-up initiatives. COVID-19 mutual aid groups have emerged under these circumstances as a key response by communities for communities.

This keynote explores the role of mutual aid groups as a community response in mitigating everyday challenges emerged during the pandemic, and during future crises broadly. It presents the results from the empirical study on mutual aid groups in the UK, based on interviews with mutual aid group organisers, volunteers and activists. Bilge Serin will argue that the mutual aid groups decommodified much-commodified care under capitalist production relations by commoning the care. It discusses the transformative potential of this model for producing just cities.

Draft Programme

9:00: Welcome and introductions by Esther van Zimmeren

9:10-9:35: keynote by Bilge Serin: From Charity to Solidarity: Mutual Aid as Commoning of Care

9:35–9:50: pitch Haris Tsavdaroglu (migration commons)

9:50–10:05: pitch Tim Soens (commons & shocks)

10:05–10:20: pitch Jean-Marc Louvain (food commons)

10:20–10:35: pitch Maria Francesca De Tullio (tbc) (cultural commons)

10:35–10:50: pitch Esther van Zimmeren (trust and solidarity in urban commons)

11:05-11:25: coffee break

11:25-12:30: round table

(12:30–14:00: lunch)

Practical details

  • Friday 24 May 2024
  • Room S.M.101, Sint-Jacobstraat 2-4, Building M