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 “care” and “piracy”, which in new and interesting ways are trying to intervene in one of the most important challenges of our time, that is, the ‘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.
Please Note: The Pirate Care Syllabus is in a permanent state of being work in progress. Some topics and sessions are rather bare and under development, while others are more complete. We welcome suggestions and proposals for collaborations on expanding or re-visiting existing topics.
Care, a political notion
Caring is not intrinsically “nice”, it always involve power relations. Processes of discipline, exclusion and harm can operate inside the matrix of care.
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.
There are no wrong people. Yet, caring for the “wrong” 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.
Caring is labour. it is necessary and it is skilled labour.
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.
Caring labour needs full access to resources, knowledge, tools and technologies. When these are taken away, we must claim them back.
Pirate Care is convened by Valeria Graziano, Marcell Mars and Tomislav Medak.
Contributors to the Syllabus: Laura Benitez Valero, Emina Bužinkić, Rasmus Fleischer, Maddalena Fragnito, Valeria Graziano, Chris Grodotzki, Mary Maggic, Iva Marčetić, Marcell Mars, Tomislav Medak, Morana Miljanović, Power Makes Us Sick (PMS), Zoe Romano, Cassie Thornton, Ivory Tuesday, Ana Vilenica.
Contributors and translators of Flatten the Curve, Grow the Care: a collective note-taking exercise: Janneke Adema, Cooperation Birmingham, Maddalena Fragnito, Valeria Graziano, Antonia Hernández, Rebekka Kiesewetter, Katja Laug, Marcell Mars, Tomislav Medak, Tomasso Petrucci, Dan Rudmann, Tobias Steiner.
Contributors to the exhibition Pirate Care: Learning from Disobedience: Laura Benítez Valero, Emina Bužinkić, Maddalena Fragnito (Soprasotto), Iva Marčetić, Paula Pin (Biotranslab/ Pechblenda), Planka, Power Makes Us Sick (PMS), Sea-Watch, Ana Vilenica and Women on Waves.
Contributors to the 2019 Conference at the Centre for Postdigital Cultures, Coventry University: Agustina Andreoletti (Academy of Media Arts Cologne) | Mijke van der Drift (Goldsmiths University of London / Royal Academy of Art, The Hague) | Taraneh Fazeli (curatorial fellow, Jan van Eyck Academie and Canaries collective) | Kirsten Forkert (BCU) + Janna Graham (Goldsmiths) + Victoria Mponda (Global Sistaz United) | Maddalena Fragnito (Soprasotto) | Valeria Graziano (CPC) | Derly Guzman (Planka) | Toufic Haddad (Kenyon Institute) | Jelka Kretzschmar + Franziska Wallner (Sea-Watch) | Andrea Liu (Goldsmiths University of London) | Marcell Mars and Tomislav Medak (Memory of the World / CPC) | Power Makes Us Sick (PMS) | Gilbert B. Rodman (University of Minnesota) | Zoe Romano (WeMake / Opencare.cc) | Deborah Streahle (Yale) | Nick Titus (Four Thieves Vinegar Collective) | Kim Trogal (UCA) | Ana Vilenica (LSBU) | Kandis Williams (Cassandra Press) | Kitty Worthing (Docs Not Cops) + James Skinner (Medact) | John Wilbanks (Sage Bionetworks/ FasterCures).