Letters to Joan

Edited by Sascia Bailer, Gilly Karjevsky, Rosario Talevi with Edna Bonhomme, Johanna Bruckner, Teresa Dillon, João Florêncio, Johanna Hedva, Elke Krasny, Patricia Reed, Yayra Sumah and Joan Tronto

Care offers a concept through which to review the moral basis of our society and start to address the ongoing social injustices that lie at the heart of our systems and infrastructures. Joan Tronto introduced the concept of care into political philosophy and argued for Care as a Basis for Radical Political Judgments and the cornerstone for a revitalized caring democracy. 

Eight open and public letters addressed to Joan Tronto share thoughts on the current state of care from the experiences of different writers during this global pandemic. These letters span approaches from genealogical, to political, to planetary ones, if those distinctions even matter anymore. Yayra Sumah proclaims that “care is not love” and reflects on the confusion of motherhood with care, Elke Krasny highlights how this current pandemic hit women hard, João Florêncio points to the contested notion of “home” in times of self-isolation, Edna Bonhomme writes a litany for surviving black death, Johanna Hedva points to the revolutionary potential of the bed-ridden body, Teresa Dillon turns our attention to more-than-human care concepts and the internet of life, Patricia Reed describes the codependency of care and knowledge, especially when thinking in planetary dimensions and Johanna Bruckner follows particles as they escape from the earth’s atmosphere and form new caring constellations in our sky.

We imagine these letters and their responses to make up a landscape of care – a relational map you can read from your own personal position, as we begin our long march to a world imbued with care as norm, as a democratic order. With this emerging map of care you can see how far the concept stretches — and how essential it is as an alternative paradigm.

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