who we are / qui sommes nous

Politics & Care is a space to weave links between collective wellbeing, care and politics. All that with a little bit of magic! We are a collective of artists-community organizers (intersectional feminists, indiscipliné-es!) dedicated to integrate care in our politics. We hold collective discussions and facilitate workshops for community organisations and more.

Formed in Montreal during the 2012 student strike, we look at care as a collective issue.

Pushed by a society that is always running, too often we’re trying to be as efficient as possible while working towards social change. Another protest, a day-long conference and, why not an extra meeting at lunch time. We fight for social justice… until we break down. And even then, we feel guilty for not doing, and being, “enough”.

The collective care spaces are an occasion to reflect on collective well-being, emotional labor and self-care, to share stories, ideas and practices to create accountable, sustainable and thriving communities. They are the moments to start thinking about what our needs are surrounding these issues, and to take charge of the strategies that are already in place or brainstorm others that could be implemented.

Too often, we do not take the time to question our limits and the emotional involvement that is intrinsic to our (activist) work. We tend to stretch ourselves thin and to not take time or are unable to care for one another. How many people around us burn out, are depressed, or completely overwhelmed by everyday struggles and family life?

In addition to internalized capitalist notions of productivity, a groups’ internal dynamics have an immense impact on our collective well-being and in turn on our morale and the political work we do. The absence of accountability & transparency, lack of accessibility, dominant personalities, internal power relations, hidden hierarchies, lack of possibilities to bring up issues & conflicts and other problematic practices damage both individuals and our collectives.

Emotional labor (active listening, acting as confidants, confidentiality, support work, mediation, defusing tensions, thinking of people being comfortable in new spaces and much more) is almost invariably seen as being within the realm of “emotions” and arbitrarily disconnected from the political, and therefore erased from our work, and consequently not valued or valorized. However, this work is integral to sustainable collective action and movements that seek to cease reproduction of systemic oppressions and violence that is omnipresent in our lives.

We thus need to open-up spaces to discuss and reflect upon individual & collective well-being and emotional labor in our communities. Acquiring tools and actively engaging with ideas about self-care and collective well-being are powerful ways to contribute to creating social justice and building thriving movements. For this, we need to put as much emphasis on “how” we organize as we do on « why » and « what » of our organizing.

We have been offering workshops and organizing discussion circles, informal peer support and much more!

You can find us on Facebook or write us at politics.and.therapy.are.one [at] gmail [dot] com

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