Questo documento ha una versione in italiano: Convivialità senza prossimità

Von diesem Dokument gibt es eine deutsche Version Zusammensein ohne Nähe

As people stay in extended isolation, they are resorting to imaginative ways to organise collective, convivial and political moments. These are just some examples of the ways people are organising sociality and conviviality:

Web radios

The outbreak of COVID-19 in northern Italy coincided with March 8th - International Women’s Day. The transfeminist social justice movement Non Una Di Meno had to cancel most of the mobilizations and collective actions it had planned for the occasion, including the Women’s Strike due to take place on the following day, March 9th. So, instead, they organised a number of alternative dislocated initiatives - some of them offline, like hanging banners from buildings, but most of them online. One of the most impactful was the Non Una Di Meno Radio, broadcasted both through stream and through FM by way of collaboration with local radios.

Web radio can be a powerful tool to organize and socialize in times of home isolation. Here are some resources on how to get started:

Tools to build a web radio

Web radio experiments

Oldies but goldies

Conference Calls


During this crisis, online video conferencing has come to the fore.

Problems with corporate tools

Many of the main conference call tools people are using during the lock-downs have come under public scrutiny for having policies that might damage their users.

ZOOM: According to Jamie Zawinski, one of the founders of Netscape and, Zoom is particularly ‘terrible’:

Zoom’s privacy page states: “Whether you have Zoom account or not, we may collect Personal Data from or about you when you use or otherwise interact with our Products.” This includes, but is not limited to, your physical address, phone number, your job title, credit and debit card information, your Facebook account, your IP address, your OS and device details, and more.” Further, the app allows your boss to spy on you far beyond what’s okay in an office setting (Zoom has an attention-tracking feature that can alert hosts if you look away (update: as of April 2, 2020, Zoom have removed the attendee attention tracker feature due to widespread protests).. From EFF: […] “Admins have the ability to join any call at any time on their organization’s instance of Zoom, without in-the-moment consent or warning for the attendees of the call.”

Zoom Meetings Aren’t End-To-End Encrypted, Despite Misleading Marketing: The meeting is secured with end-to-end encryption, at least according to Zoom’s website, its security white paper, and the user interface within the app. But despite this misleading marketing, the service actually does not support end-to-end encryption for video and audio content, at least as the term is commonly understood. Instead it offers what is usually called transport encryption. […]

Without end-to-end encryption, Zoom has the technical ability to spy on private video meetings and could be compelled to hand over recordings of meetings to governments or law enforcement in response to legal requests. While other companies like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft publish transparency reports that describe exactly how many government requests for user data they receive from which countries and how many of those they comply with, Zoom does not publish a transparency report.

SOURCE: Zoom is bad and you should feel bad

We are very aware that engaging, experimenting with and learning about different tools and alternative technologies is something that not everyone is able to do, as conditions of work and life vary and often are not supportive of such extra efforts. However, the technopolitical aspect of the pandemic is calling for a very serious collective reflection around our technological futures. Could mainstream technological infrastructures be created beyond corporate solutions that extract data and provide employers and governments with biased surveillance tools? There are many initiatives out there that have been producing some amazing alternatives which go in the direction of empowering users and communities in their relationship with tech. While we are not purist in our approach, as our online presence is part of broad ecosystems and connectivity is in this time more important than ever, we hope some of the resources linked here will inspire and sustain others in become less entangled with set ups we don’t want nor consent to.

Alternative tools

Introduction to some of the key issues:

(some) Video conferencing tools

  • - a multi-user video conference client, or use ours, all our tools are 100% free, open source, and WebRTC compatible.
  • Collective Tools: a cooperative cloud company. Encrypted open source video conferencing.
  • - free, no limit on participants, in a browser, no login/account, and fully p2p encrypted even in multiple-participants calls
  • [](no registration, browser-based, FLOSS)
  • []

Repositories with v useful resources / tools:

Other resources on online meetings:

Digital Solidarity Networks

Digital Solidarity Networks is a shared listing of tools, practices and readings for digital solidarity and conviviality.

Let’s chat further on IRC, in the #digital-solidarity-networks channel For access from the web browser, you can use to join the channel (no password needed)

To whoever encounters this pad: this is work-in-progress, please join! This is the start of a listing of some resources regarding mutual aid strategies and social closeness through alternative digital infrastructures in times of physical distancing, remote working or care giving, etc. This pad contains examples of collective digital alternative practices, in a time where everything points to the further consolidation and accelerated normalization of the Big Tech industry (Zoom, Facebook groups, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Skype, etc.). Other attitudes are possible.



On 14th March, at midday, a long applause erupted from the windows and balconies in many cities in Italy. The initiative, circulated on social networks and neighborhood chats, was an opportunity to thank - at a safe distance - all those who are in the front line during these difficult days for the country: doctors, nurses, specialists, but also all those workers who would like to stay at home but cannot because of their employers refusing to shut down production.

On the same day, also in Spain, millions of people have decided to thank health personnel for the enormous effort they are making these days to stop the expansion of the Coronavirus. At 22:00, shortly after the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, finished his public appearance, the residents of many Spanish cities, such as Barcelona, Madrid, Oviedo and Benidorm, opened the windows of their houses and started applauding with strength and joy to thank all the cleaners who are working like crazy to face the COVID-19. In some residential neighborhoods of Madrid, such as Montecarmelo, where many families with children live, the round of applaus was anticipated to 9:00 pm, so that the little ones could also participate.

All across Italy, similar flash-mobs at a distance, as they have been called, are being organised at different times of the day with live music concerts, DJ sets, and improvised performances to ease the isolation.

Quarantine kitchen

by Ajam Media Collective SOURCE:

Tehran has been under a state of semi-quarantine for weeks. Millions have avoided leaving the house for fear of spreading coronavirus. Schools, universities, theaters, and gyms have been closed. A growing silence has fallen on public spaces. Fear is worsened by US sanctions on Iran, which have led to shortages of basic medicines and sanitary supplies needed to combat the virus’ spread. Under quarantine, Iranians cook, they share recipes, they experiment with new and old spices and ideas, they find joy in flavors and mixing and discovering. These stories have become the inspiration for Golrokh Nafisi, a Tehran-based artist whose latest series is called “Quarantine Kitchen.” Nafisi drew portraits of her friends preparing new recipes, based on the stories they told her of their experiments under quarantine. She is developing the series and has asked that anyone with a similar story please contact her and share their story, so she can draw them as well.



“As millions of Chinese people are stuck at home during the Coronavirus outbreak, nightclubs across the country are keeping them entertained by holding “cloud raves” online. Clubbers have been tuning into video platforms like Douyin, China’s version of TikTok, and participating in them virtually. Some DJs and clubs have been livestreaming on Kuaishou, another popular Chinese video platform. Here’s how it works: DJs video their performance either from a music venue, or their studios and homes, then livestream it on Douyin. While some DJs have been performing live, others are prerecording their gigs and broadcasting them on Douyin’s livestream later on. During the cloud concerts, edited versions of the bands’ past performances were screened for viewers. While it wasn’t actually live, the appeal comes from the knowledge that people were watching the concerts together, sharing their thoughts through comments in real time. No playbacks were available so that means if you missed it, you missed it. People who are quarantined or staying indoors can tune into any music event they want. Some ravers have even posted videos of themselves dancing at home to the music. These cloud raves have been extremely successful, with millions of viewers tuning into some of these livestreams. According to Vice, almost 2.3 million people tuned into Beijing club Sir Teen’s cloud rave on February 10, with more than 100,000 viewers joining within the first 30 minutes.

Cloud clubbing is also lucrative as hell. On February 9, a live streaming of the nightclub OneThird receive almost 20 million TikTok Coins from viewers, which equates to over 1 million RMB ($143,000). Another event held on Valentine’s Day attracted 4 million online viewers and raised 570,000 RMB ($81,500) for medical personnel battling the coronavirus at the frontline.””

Cloud sleeping


“One live streamer who goes by the moniker SheiJiaDeYuanSan had over 18 million people watching him in a 12-hour-long slumber. Why the viral demand for a regular guy taking a ridiculously long nap? There are no answers, at least not yet.

He too is confounded by his overnight fame. The viral sensation told that, despite attracting sudden popularity and revenue from cloud sleeping, he’s had enough of it. People were threatening to unfollow him if he did not go to sleep, despite it being only 5 p.m. in the afternoon.”

Virtual aperitifs


In Italy, where the aperitif is a well-established social ritual, circles of friends, but also bars and pubs, are also testing remote modes of conviviality by organising virtual get-togethers via video conferencing apps such as HouseParty or Meeting Zoom. In Varese, one cafè organized an I-peritivo live on Instagram, asking participants to make a donation (instead of paying the bill) to the local hospital to help face the Coronavirus emergency.

Given that many commercial video conferencing platforms charge after a set amount of users is reached, people are reportedly also discovering ways to go around such limitations. For example, by connecting with the first 4 friends on WhatsApp (which does not allow more than that) and simultaneously with 2 more via Skype.



QuarantineChat was created by artists Danielle Baskin and Max Hawkins.

Once you sign up, you’ll be subscribed to periodic calls. Your caller ID will always say “QuarantineChat” when your phone rings. After a brief moment on hold, you’ll match with another random person. You don’t have to pick up if you’re busy—your partner will be automatically matched with someone else. And you can join and leave the line whenever you’d like. It’s private. You use your phone number to sign up for Dialup, but your matches will only ever see your username. All calls are end-to-end encrypted.

Sharing Dreams

Dreams under confinement is a collective document where you can record the dreams you have under whatever level of confinement. Some of the dream might be read on radio - Mayday radio (London) or Droplet radio, Copenhagen. No one’s dreams will be read without consent.

Pandemic Dreams Archive is a study on Dreams – Art and Clinic, part of the work “HIJACKED FUTURES X THE ANTI-HIJACKING OF DREAMS” – a methodology focused on creative and speculative processes (science / speculative fiction) developed since 2015 applied in different countries. To learn more, access the texthijacked futures X the antihijacking of dreams.

Collective Diaries

Further reading / resources