Speculative nows for post covid-19 futures
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COVID-19 forces most countries worldwide into various stages of lockdown. The 'state of exception' reveals various pre-existing conditions of nations level of preparedness as we are witnessing a global experiment in comparative governance. Large-scale testing has turned into a sensor informing statistically valid models for better public health response. Technology such as corona tracing apps promise a quicker return to the "new normal" and the race to develop a universal vaccination is assumed to be the only path to conquer this and future pandemics. These narratives portray innovation and technology as a savior in a similar way as "smartness" has been promised to solve challenges such as climate change, over population, financial crisis, security threats etc. In the midst of a pandemic it has become challenging to think about the future. “Coronarratives” shift as new research gets published, necessary preventive measures change overnight. The feeling of uncertainty fuels adversarial narratives. The most extreme corona conspiracy theories have led to burning of 5G towers. Reflexively interpreting sensing and modelling as 'surveillance', active governance as 'social control' and the current lock-downs as 'dystopias' seems short-sighted and calls for a more nuanced vocabulary.
In this workshop we want to take time, space and (privileged) right to think about the future. When the earlier imagined futures of "smartness" producing resilience seem to be failing we like to share experiences and discuss local community responses and alternative ad-hoc networks that emerge within our newly defined living spaces in our countries, cities, neighbourhood and households.
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