Pirate Care, a syllabus

We live in a world where captains get arrested for saving people’s lives on the sea; where a person downloading scientific articles faces 35 years in jail; where people risk charges for bringing contraceptives to those who otherwise couldn’t get them. Folks are getting in trouble for giving food to the poor, medicine to the sick, water to the thirsty, shelter to the homeless. And yet our heroines care and disobey. They are pirates.


Pirate Care is a research process - primarily based in the transnational European space - that maps the increasingly present forms of activism at the intersection of β€œcare” and β€œpiracy”, which in new and interesting ways are trying to intervene in one of the most important challenges of our time, that is, the β€˜crisis of care’ in all its multiple and interconnected dimensions.

These practices are experimenting with self-organisation, alternative approaches to social reproduction and the commoning of tools, technologies and knowledges. Often they act disobediently in expressed non-compliance with laws, regulations and executive orders that ciriminalise the duty of care by imposing exclusions along the lines of class, gender, race or territory. They are not shying risk of persecution in providing unconditional solidarity to those who are the most exploited, discriminated against and condemned to the status of disposable populations.

The Pirate Care Syllabus we present here for the first time is a tool for supporting and activating collective processes of learning from these practices. We encourage everyone to freely use this syllabus to learn and organise processes of learning and to freely adapt, rewrite and expand it to reflect their own experience and serve their own pedagogies.

8th March 2020 - Please Note: The Pirate Care Syllabus is still work in progress. Some topics and sessions are still under development, more will be created during the residency at the Kunsthalle (beginning of April) and beyond.

Care, a political notion

  1. Caring is not intrinsically β€œnice”, it always involve power relations. Processes of discipline, exclusion and harm can operate inside the matrix of care.

  2. Care labour holds the capacity to disobey power and increase our collective freedom. This is why when it is organised in capitalist, patriarchal and racist ways, it does not work for most living beings. We are in a global crisis of care.

  3. There are no wrong people. Yet, caring for the β€œwrong” people is more and more socially discouraged, made difficult and criminalized. For many, the crisis of care has been there for a very long time.

  4. Caring is labour. it is necessary and it is skilled labour.

  5. Care labour is shared unfairly and violently in most societies, along lines of gender, provenance, race, class, ability, and age. Some are forced to care, while some defend their privilege of expecting service. This has to change.

  6. Caring labour needs full access to resources, knowledge, tools and technologies. When these are taken away, we must claim them back.

Contact: info@pirate.care