"Post-pandemic: An Opportunity for Brother and Sisterhood"
Cristianisme i Justicia publishes today an end-of-the-year statement. More than just offering a reflection about what has happened during this year, this time the Center has tried to repurpose the slogans that have accompanied us for the last 10 months, marked by the COVID-19 pandemic. Oft repeated slogans like “Everything will turn out well”, #IAmStayingHome or “the new normal” among others, that it is necessary to review with calm and a critical spirit in order to become conscious of what we really mean.
Concerning the long-awaited but not very concrete “new normal”, for example, the Center states that “It ought to imply a bet on a radically sustainable model from both a social and ecological point of view., because we cannot hope to return to the situation prior to the pandemic. As the text says, "If there is not a rethinking in depth, … [we are consecrating] once again as inevitable an unsustainable and inhuman situation".
It also points out that the “Let’s take care of ourselves” that lately we have repeated so much to one another should be “broader and more inclusive” and “embrace all of humanity and, very especially, those people who do not have anyone to care for them”. For Cristianisme i Justicia, this “let’s take care of ourselves” should be converted into a political imperative that forces us to question to what we dedicate our time, what use we make of money and private property and what political options we defend. It should be changed into a way of understanding life.
Throughout the whole of the statement there is a warning of the risk of interiorizing or accepting without criticism any language that tends to normalize the infringement of rights. The hashtag #IAmStayingHome has been an appeal to the individual responsibility necessary to contain the transmission of the virus. But faced with this, we should be alert because “The imperative to stay at home reinforces one of the most dangerous elements in our societies. … This is the dystopian dream of any authoritarian system:” For that reason, the strategy of social distancing should not be normalized but rather seen as a profound anomaly. And above all, the text reminds us, should lead us to reclaim the rights of so many people who live without a roof over their heads or in insecure conditions.
For Cristianisme i Justicia it is necessary to abandon the uncritical optimism of “everything will be OK” in order to recognize with humility that not everything will be all right because we have to bear all the reality of suffering which has been generated by the pandemic, the people who have died, the drama that has played out in the homes for the elderly, the persons who have stayed under the shadow of poverty and the growth of inequality, for example.
The Center also laments the war-like language and imagery that, as soon as the pandemic was declared, took over the public discourse, referring to the war against the virus and the armies that are fighting the enemy. In its end-of-the-year reflection, Cristianisme i Justicia recalls that the way of facing an epidemic is not with language that evokes combat but by constructing alternatives which come out of attention, presence, accompaniment, consolation and resiliency.
Diary of a pandemic: social and theological readings about the time we lived being confined
This reflection arrives just after the months in which Cristianisme i Justicia has been tackling the large questions and problems that the pandemic has placed on the table by means of a large part of the articles published on the center’s blog by various authors. They are questions that require all of our attention because they have touched all of our lives and have raised questions about the hegemonic productive and reproductive system.
For that reason, the center has attempted to gather these articles into a virtual book which has just been published under the title Diary of a Pandemic.
Reading them orients us in a direction that takes as its starting point the assumption of vulnerability, uncertainty and interdependence as its core for being able to suggest any alternative. All of this is only possible if we place our emphasis and our gaze on those groups which are looked down on and made vulnerable by the patriarchal neoliberal and neo-colonial system. And if we make our own that historical affirmation of eco-feminism it is absolutely necessary to place life at the center both of our reflection and our political action.
The virtual book can be downloaded on the web at this link.
Download the reflection:
- Post-pandemic: An Opportunity for Brother and Sisterhood [download]