Other new normals are available – Making degrowth a thing!
Jonnet Middleton is a critical feminist thinker and experimental activist who will be writing thought pieces about how resilient lifeworlds can emerge and be sustained at this singular moment, unevenly saturated with unparalleled possibility and crushing constraint. The dominant arrangements governing social reproduction and economic livelihoods have been reconfigured in unthinkable ways. Covid-19 has unravelled the givenness of our outdated, misdirected, pre-Covid lives. Lockdown has locked us out of longstanding patterns and forced us into new ones, for better and for worse. The old normal is rigorously washed away. New normals gestate apace.
A raft of alternative living and working arrangements, better aligned with social and environmental justice, have became newly available, possible, necessary, widely acceptable, and increasingly desirable. Some people can sense this abundance of individual and collective possibility. Some enjoy the privilege of having the time and the mental and physical conditions to nourish desires for resilience, and to expand flourishing lifeworlds. Many more are overburdened by meeting the basic needs of themselves and others, rendering thoughts of flourishing brutally obsolete. The increased burden of care and the exacerbation of existing structural violence, among disproportionately female and BAME groups, compromises the ability to adopt, sustain, or even to contemplate building resilience into a new normal.
The tensions and nuances between these poles pose critical questions about the fragility and relevance of marginal communities of resilience, as positions of capacity and necessity are unsettled. Jonnet will map this unfamiliar terrain of in/action, and think with the relationships and resources in the communities which SHED supports in the shifting topography of im/possibility. Her writing will connect practices of resilience with theoretical analysis and contextualisation. It hopes to illuminate and validate the resilient margins that emerged in the cracks of the old normal for new audiences who eagerly anticipate greener, slower and more caring ways to live. The intention is to critically charge the possibilities in which degrowth can reproduce itself, by bringing its very possibility and infrastructure into existence or, in short, to make degrowth a thing.