This project is intended as a public resource for the digital commons that offers equitable access to knowledge shared by contributors (See de Rosnay and Stalder 2020).
Researchers, advocates, activists and others are well positioned to identify conditions that have made life harder for certain groups of people during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing this knowledge and experience, we invite contributors to upload descriptions /images/ sounds/ and media links about overlapping circumstances that may exacerbate harm.
We work with two, web-based surveys. One for Contexts of Vulnerability and one for Extreme Weather Events.
A good deal of information about COVID-19 comes to public view through statistics of cases, recoveries and deaths, often presented on a global map. Quantitative approaches speak to demographics of harm but not to the escalation of harm as a function of diverse, overlapping situations, events and / or processes. We use Esri ArcGIS Online software to store and display information on a publicly accessible, global map.
We hope the project will identify contexts comprising variable “ecologies” of harm and also complicate the ways that “vulnerability” is variously defined. In the context of a health crisis, populations and struggles may sometimes be universalized through the use of standardized language, metaphors and biomedical description (Varma 2020:2). Focusing instead on the “convergence of complex, interrelated problems” (Balzer 2020:118), we seek locally-relevant idioms when possible, using languages, imagery, concepts and culture-specific categories.
Ecologies highlights information that will contribute to understandings about the social determinants of health and circumstances that are linked with structural inequalities.
• Make visible, locally-defined and experienced situations that may be outside of mainstream view.
• Identify “shadow” COVID-19 activities, especially in contexts of inaction by authorities or agencies.
• Share knowledge about academic and grassroots projects underway that address critical needs.
• Document productive solidarities.
* Generate opportunities for collaborative dialogues and solutions-based engagements among diverse networks of witnesses.
Project Team: The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
Dr. Leslie Robertson, Anthropology.
Maya Daurio, Anthropology.
Stephen Chignell, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability.
Danielle Gendron, Anthropology.
Dr. Anita Lacey, Political Science, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Dr. Sally Babidge, Anthropology, University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia.
Balzer, Marjorie Mandelstam. 2019. Editor’s Introduction: Urgent Anthropology: Gender, Ethnic Conflict, Migration, and Anti-Americanism. Anthropology & Archeology of Eurasia 58(3): 117-122.
Dulong de Rosnay, M. & Stalder, F. (2020). Digital commons. Internet Policy Review, 9(4). https://policyreview.info/pdf/policyreview-2020-4-1530.pdf
Varma, Saiba. 2020. A pandemic is not a war: COVID‐19 urgent anthropological reflections. COVID-19 Forum Special Issue Social Anthropology/Anthropologie Sociale 28(2): 376- 378.