For Health Autonomy: Horizons of Care Beyond Austerity—Reflections from Greece

CareNotes Collective

For Health Autonomy: Horizons of Care Beyond Austerity—Reflections from Greece explores the landscape of care spaces coordinated by autonomous collectives in Greece, including clinics, social spaces for health, social kitchens, and safe spaces liberated from the state and capital. The significance of autonomous spaces is intensified in the very moment the state, capital, and their complicit institutions attempt to penetrate their power via austerity and state violence. In tandem with the broader anticapitalist movement, these spaces have ruptured the legitimacy of the state and capital, and reclaimed care beyond the limits of the biomedical, nonprofit, and capitalist frameworks. 

            The experience of Greek autonomous care spaces encapsulates care within, as well as beyond, the biomedical; where addressing pathologies, such as cancers or colds, are as important as dismantling the causes of the pathology, including debt, homelessness, police violence, and social isolation. The collected essays grasp how emotional and physical distress is preventable—where ensuring access to antibiotics, vaccines, or herbal remedies is as relevant as liberating unused space for housing or de-policing a neighborhood. The subjects of this collection include a network of users of psychosocial services, defending their right to autonomy within mental healthcare systems; a healthcare center organized and maintained by an anarchist collective; a worker’s clinic founded by a coalition of factory workers and healthcare solidarity activists; among others.

            The Greek contribution to autonomous care work emancipates labor, space, and resources towards a form of life that sustains the bodies and well-being of the collectives directly involved in this process, and the broader network of autonomous communities that rely on such care spaces to reproduce other modes of noncapitalist life. Efforts to defend and expand the very elements necessary for the survival of our bodies and ecology are in tandem with efforts to rupture from hierarchies, profits, and institutionalized singularities. 

For Health Autonomy is a powerful collection of first hand accounts of concrete alternatives that are replacing our need for police and prisons based on the collective power of communities and care workers. These reflections have merged from within and beyond healthcare institutions. 

About CareNotes Collective

Intensifying inequality and violence have heightened the need to deepen our capacity to resist, offer concrete alternatives, and reproduce ourselves in the process. CareNotes Collective organizes directly on this terrain and seeks to record and amplify the experiences of those struggling for health autonomy in their own communities. Our challenge is to imagine how to expand these practices while defending our communities from the risks of cooption, state violence, and emotional trauma as well as financial domination.

Despite the continued violence of the state and private sector, efforts to protect our bodies and environment continue to emerge from those of us left with few other means of sustaining daily life. Yet those who are excluded from the basic right to housing, health, food, safe spaces, emotional wellbeing, and so many other needs, are vilified. Simultaneously, the efforts of care workers committed to our general well-being (educators, healthcare, farm workers, social workers, neighbors, mothers, autonomous networks) are also devalued in an endless restructuring of “crisis.” One strategy is recognizing the centrality of care workers—mothers, the elderly, the pathologized, migrants, LGBTQ+ communities, and autonomous networks—in creating sites of counterpower where we can collectively defend and care for one another while resisting the violence of capitalist life. Such collective care has the potential to liberate space and time, to transform workflows within and beyond traditional care spaces, and to link networks otherwise separated by wealth, race, expertise, and geography.       

PRODUCT DETAILS

Authors: CareNotes Collective
Series: CareNotes: A Notebook of Health Autonomy
Publisher: Common Notions
ISBN: 978-1-942173-14-4
Release: November 2019
Format: Paperback
Size: 5 X 7
Page count: 128
Subjects:  Healthcare / Autonomy / Social Movements


forthcoming publications | Call for Submissions

Migrant Autonomy

The past decades are marked with the scarred paths of migration from spaces of war, poverty, and sexual violence. The financialization of detention, surveillance, and so-called "aid" for migrants only accelerates the precarization and proletarization of migrants in host countries. 

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Despite the escalation of state violence against migrants, and the formation of new economies around the containment and "aid" of migrants by hedge funds, migrant networks continue to undermine core elements of capitalist life (citizenship, borders, race, wage labor) while intensifying mutual aid and autonomous care practices. 

CareNotes and Common Notions would like to invite collectives and networks involved in autonomous migrant justice work for the third issue of CareNotes to share experiences and analysis, particularly around care work (i.e., support networks and mutual aid strategies, healthcare, child/eldercare, education, housing, food, women's support groups, mental health, etc.) as alternatives to the violence imposed by the state and private sector. See below for more info.

Movimientos por la justicia migrante

Las últimas décadas han estado marcadas por oleadas de migración de zonas en situación de guerra, pobreza y violencia sexual. La mercantilización de la detención y la vigilancia y la así llamada “ayuda” para migrantes no hace más que acelerar y proletarizar a las y los migrantes en los países a donde migran. A pesar de la escalada de la violencia estatal en contra de las y los migrantes y la formación de nuevas economías centradas en la retención y “ayuda” a migrantes a través de fondos de cobertura o fondos de inversión libre (hedge funds en inglés), las redes de migrantes siguen socavando elementos centrales de la vida capitalista (ciudadanía, fronteras, raza, trabajo asalariado) al mismo tiempo que intensifican la ayuda mutua y las prácticas autónomas de cuidado.

Care Notes y Common Notions quieren invitar a redes y colectivos autónomos involucrados en trabajos y luchas relacionadas a experiencias, colectivos, movimientos, grupos migrantes a compartir experiencias y análisis, particularmente en lo que respecta al trabajo reproductivo (por ejemplo: redes de apoyo y estrategias de apoyo mutuo, atención a la salud, cuidado de niñas/os y adultas/os mayores, educación, vivienda, alimentación, grupos de apoyos de mujeres, salud mental, etc.) como alternativas a la violencia impuesta por el Estado y el sector privado. Vea más abajo para más información.


Women’s Autonomy

How do we defend and recuperate our bodies and ecologies while resisting the very forms [of structural and interpersonal violence] inflicting so much harm on our lives, communities, and worlds? Centuries of extractivism and sexual violence against women has been integral to the expansion of the state and capital. Yet historical and contemporary experiences emerging from women’s struggles against the violence of the state and capital remain at the heart of our capacity to recuperate our bodies and commons, while rupturing global structures of power. How we share, connect, and amplify these experiences and analysis are essential for our survival. 

In the fourth issue of CareNotes, we seek experiences, analysis, interviews, art, or other materials emerging from radical women’s movements internationally that inform how our movements are responding to the crisis of care, femicide, sexual violence, and extractivism, while undermining overarching frames of capitalist life. See below for more info.

Movimientos de mujeres radicales

¿Cómo defendemos y recuperamos nuestros cuerpos y ecologías al mismo tiempo que resistimos en contra de las formas de violencia estructural e interpersonal que tanto daño causan a nuestra vidas, comunidades y mundos? Los siglos de extractivismo y la violencia sexual en contra de las mujeres han sido integrales a la expansión del Estado y del capital. Aún así, las experiencias históricas y contemporáneas que emergen de las luchas de mujeres en contra de la violencia son centrales para la recuperación de nuestros cuerpos y comunes y al mismo tiempo generan rupturas en las estructuras globales de poder. La forma en que compartimos, nos conectamos y amplificamos estas experiencias y análisis son esenciales a nuestra sobrevivencia.

Para el cuarto número de CareNotes buscamos experiencias y análisis, entrevistas, arte o cualquier otro material proveniente de los movimientos de mujeres radicales a nivel internacional, que son de mucha utilidad para informar cómo nuestros movimientos están respondiendo a las crisis de cuidado, al feminicidio a la violencia sexual y al extractivistmo y cómo por medio de estas luchas están socavando los marcos de la vida capitalista.

About the Collective

CareNotes is a collective of care workers who are organizing for health autonomy.

We are committed to sharing experiences and analysis from autonomous care practices resisting the violence of the state and capitalist life. The editorial collective functions anonymously, without any grant funding, or any affiliation with academic/NGOs/foundations.

Our work is published by Common Notions and distributed in the US and UK via AK Press and Distribution. Copies will be sold widely across the communities we are collectively a part of, in bookstores, at bookfairs, and online at a low cost to help cover publishing costs (no proceeds will go to the editorial collective itself). We are in the process of raising funds to translate our texts into Spanish and distribute for comrades in Latin America and Spain. We are publishing issues for direct access between community groups and autonomous networks, and not for think-tanks, academia, or capitalist-funded institutions that would appropriate our experiences and our knowledge. 

Please email submissions and questions to carenotes@protonmail.com and review our submission and formatting guidelines listed below. 

Sobre el colectivo

CareNotes es un colectivo de trabajadores de cuidado que se organizan para la autonomía de la salud.

Care Notes está comprometido con compartir experiencias y análisis de prácticas autónomas de cuidado que resisten en contra de la violencia del Estado y la vida capitalista. El colectivo editorial funciona de forma anónima, sin financiamiento o afiliación a instituciones académicas, ONGs o fundaciones.

Los números de la revista se publican con Common Notions y se distribuyen en Estados Unidos y el Reino Unido via AK Press Distribution. Las copias de los libros serán vendidas en las comunidades de las cuales formamos parte, en librerías, ferias del libro y también online, siempre a un costo accesible. El dinero recaudado ayuda a cubrir los costos de la publicación (ninguna ganancia va para el colectivo editorial en sí mismo). Actualmente estamos en proceso de recaudar fondos para traducir los textos al español y así poder llegar a distribuirlos entre compañeras y compañeros en America Latina y España. Como colectivo, publicamos para que las comunidades y sus grupos, así como las redes autónomas tengan acceso directo, no publicamos para think-tanks, instituciones académicas o instituciones financiadas por el capital, los cuales muy raṕidamente se apropiarían de nuestras experiencias y nuestro conocimiento.

Envíe por correo electrónico los envíos y las preguntas a carenotes@protonmail.com y revise las pautas de envío y formato que se detallan a continuación.

The Role of Care Workers in Social Justice Movements

Intensifying inequality and violence has heightened the need for support—extending from emotional, physical, health, housing, food, legal, etc. Yet those of us who are excluded from the basic right to housing, health, food, and so many other needs, are vilified. And the efforts of care workers committed to our general well-being (educators, legal, healthcare, farm workers, social workers) are also devalued due to an endless “fiscal crisis.”

Despite the continued violence of the state and private sector, efforts to protect our bodies and environment continue to emerge from those of us left with no other means of sustaining daily life. The challenge is imagining how to expand these practices while withstanding the risks of cooption, state violence, and emotional as well as financial burden.

One strategy is recognizing the central role of care workers, youth, mothers, elderly, the “pathologized”, migrants, the LGBT community. . . in creating sites of counterpower where we can collectively defend and care for one another while resisting the violence of capitalist life. Such a desire has the potential to liberate space and time, to transform workflows within and beyond traditional care spaces (clinics, schools), and link with networks previously separated by geography, profession, race. . . 

Submission Guidelines and Deadlines

CareNotes makes use of Common Notions’s house style guide that for all of its publications. As you prepare your submission, we ask that you conform your document to that style guide. Additionally, the manuscript should be checked for factual accuracy and consistency regarding names, dates, events, people, places and references. It should also be read carefully for errors in grammar, spelling and punctuation, as well as in usage and style. Inconsistencies and infelicities should be dealt with prior to submission. If you can enlist an additional person to read the manuscript for errors as well, this is highly recommended. Also, please provide a brief biography of the groups or collectives offering submissions. 

Perhaps the most important thing to do when submitting the final text is to make sure the entire document is formatted simply (single-spaced in the same 12-point Times New Roman/footnotes in 10-point). Click here for house style guide.  

Lo más importante a la hora de enviar la versión final del texto, es asegurarse que todo el documento esté formateado de forma simple (interlineado simple, Times New Roman, 12 ptos y las notas al pie 10 ptos). Hay que tener en cuenta nuestra guía de estilo de la casa