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Archive


On 14 July 2020 a curated conversation was
held in this chatroom about the role mutual
aid plays in times of uncertainty and how
we can harness mutual aid practices as we
move forward into tomorrow. The conversation
was chaired by Curator and Art-theorist, Ruth Catlow
with participation from Artist, Larisa Blazic,
Plan C Founder, Camille Barbagallo,
Reader in Media and Politics at the University
of Westminster, Anastasia Kavada
and Curator, Researcher and RCA Visiting
Lecturer, Cecilia Wee.

Scroll down to experience the event via a
series of videos or read the full transcript
of the discussion below. You can also log
into this chatroom at any time to have a
conversation of your own.

18:30-18:50 18:50-19:11
19:11-19:29 19:29-19:45 19:45-20:00

Transcript of the conversation


      ***** BEGIN LOGGING AT Tue Jul 14 06:09:52 2020

      Jul 14 06:09:52 *	Now talking on #solidaritynotcharity
      Jul 14 11:39:57 *	sprprtr has changed the topic to: Welcome to
                                "Mutual Aid in the time of Uncertainty"
                                hosted as part of Common Bond Society
                                by Larisa Blazic and commissioned by
                                UP Projects. Tonight's agenda: 1.Now:
                                Mutual aid in the age of uncertainty
                                2.Next: Mutual aid beyond moments of crisis

      Jul 14 18:31:21 Ruth	Hello everybody
      Jul 14 18:31:27 ccl	Hello :)
      Jul 14 18:31:33 Chelsea	hello
      Jul 14 18:31:41 Cecilia	Oh hi there!
      Jul 14 18:31:44 lararara	Hello all
      Jul 14 18:31:47 Anastasia	hello all!
      Jul 14 18:31:48 Ruth	Lovely to see so many people here!
      Jul 14 18:31:53 *	jesfernie (520313e9@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 18:31:56 *	Truce_ (d5cdcbee@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 18:32:02 *	rosie (2eeda227@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 18:32:06 *	ep (522d9898@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 18:32:17 *	debhack28 (5924471b@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 18:32:35 *	UP_Projects_ has quit (Ping timeout)
      Jul 14 18:32:38 *	acpstudio (5adc0924@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 18:32:44 Ruth	We will be getting started soon
      Jul 14 18:32:52 *	cristina (53a3e85f@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 18:33:05 Ruth	Just waiting for a critical mass of people before we start
      Jul 14 18:33:07 *	Lauren (56001c72@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 18:33:12 *	nela (53d851f0@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 18:33:15 Chelsea	3
      Jul 14 18:33:45 irini	Hello all:)
      Jul 14 18:33:54 lararara	Hi irini! Hi all!
      Jul 14 18:33:56 Ruth	Hi Irini:)
      Jul 14 18:34:16 Cecilia	Hi Irini!
      Jul 14 18:34:17 irini	Hi Ruth! Lara!
      Jul 14 18:34:25 irini	Hi Cecilia!
      Jul 14 18:34:35 debhack28	3
      Jul 14 18:35:13 *	iannes (92c68398@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 18:35:28 *	ccl has quit (Ping timeout)
      Jul 14 18:35:46 *	Alex_ has quit (Ping timeout)
      Jul 14 18:35:58 *	techboy94 (522e7851@webchat.ircnet.net) has left
      Jul 14 18:36:13 *	Camille (569f01e1@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 18:36:28 Ruth	Hello Camille!
      Jul 14 18:36:38 Ruth	I think we are all here now
      Jul 14 18:36:42 lararara	Hi Camille
      Jul 14 18:36:48 Camille	hi i am sorry
      Jul 14 18:36:54 lararara	Hi Cecilia
      Jul 14 18:36:55 Camille	my internet just went awol
      Jul 14 18:36:59 Camille	but here now
      Jul 14 18:37:02 lararara	Hi Anastasia
      Jul 14 18:37:04 Ruth	Shall we get started?
      Jul 14 18:37:06 lararara	Hi Ruth :-)
      Jul 14 18:37:07 *	tech94 (522e7851@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 18:37:10 lararara	yup
      Jul 14 18:37:11 Chelsea	yes
      Jul 14 18:37:18 Camille	yes
      Jul 14 18:37:22 Ruth	Hello, my name is Ruth Catlow and I am your chair and
                            host this evening! I am a curator, art-theorist and
                            Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Furtherfield.
                            Thank you all for joining today.
      Jul 14 18:37:37 Ruth	I would like to welcome you all to this event
                            "Mutual Aid in the time of Uncertainty" hosted as
                            part of Common Bond Society by Larisa Blazic. This
                            digital artwork has been commissioned by UP Projects
                            in response to the Covid-19 pandemic as part of their
                            ongoing This is Public Space digital commissioning strand.
      Jul 14 18:37:46 Chelsea	thanks for having us
      Jul 14 18:37:53 Ruth	This is Public Space considers the online realm as a
                            site for public art and creates space to investigate
                            how we navigate between the online and physical worlds,
                            exploring the impact of digital media on our relationships
                            with people and places.
      Jul 14 18:38:10 Ruth	Today's event is divided into two parts Now and Next
                            and looks to examine the role mutual aid has played
                            in the context of the current pandemic as well as find
                            time to consider how we can harness mutual aid tactics
                            to aid a more progressive and cooperative future.
      Jul 14 18:38:32 Ruth	Are there ways of sustaining, supporting and encouraging
                            acts of mutual aid long term? Tonight, I hope we can
                            go some way in considering these questions and I am
                            delighted to be joined by some great minds to do so.
                            Here is the line up!
      Jul 14 18:38:43 *	M___ (56b9a1ea@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 18:38:51 Ruth	Larisa Blazic artist and creator of Common Bond Society
                            and the reason we are here tonight.
      Jul 14 18:39:01 Ruth	Camille Barbagallo, Plan C Founder and organiser with
                            the Women's Strike Assembly
      Jul 14 18:39:10 Ruth	Anastasia Kavada, Reader in Media and Politics at the
                            University of Westminster
      Jul 14 18:39:19 Ruth	Cecilia Wee, Curator, Researcher and RCA Visiting Lecturer
      Jul 14 18:39:30 Ruth	This format may be new to many of you, but IRC chats
                            are an old school phenomenon that invite informal
                            conversation, discussion and debate.
      Jul 14 18:39:42 *	m---b (54515f2e@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 18:39:45 Ruth	We encourage you to get involved, participate and share
                            your opinions, viewpoints and questions at any point
                            you wish.
      Jul 14 18:39:57 Ruth	We will start this evening with a short contextual
                            introduction by Larisa Blazic in order to situate this
                            conversation within her work and the origins of mutual
                            aid before beginning our dialogue.
      Jul 14 18:39:59 *	saramairi (5afc5f8f@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 18:40:10 Ruth	Over to you Larisa…
      Jul 14 18:40:26 lararara	Hi all!
      Jul 14 18:40:27 ahadzi	evening
      Jul 14 18:40:33 M___	hi
      Jul 14 18:40:33 Ruth	hey adnan!
      Jul 14 18:40:35 Anastasia	hi Larisa!
      Jul 14 18:40:39 m---b	hello!
      Jul 14 18:40:43 cristina	hello :)
      Jul 14 18:40:53 Ruth	Hello all
      Jul 14 18:41:04 Lauren	Hello Lara, Ruth and amazing panel!
      Jul 14 18:41:04 rosie	hi ro Ruth from Rose L
      Jul 14 18:41:13 *	ep has quit ("Page closed")
      Jul 14 18:41:35 sprprtr	from another computer
      Jul 14 18:41:37 *	m---b_ (54515f2e@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 18:41:37 Ruth	I think Lara's internet is down : (
      Jul 14 18:41:38 *	m---b has quit ("Page closed")
      Jul 14 18:41:39 sprprtr	cnotinued
      Jul 14 18:41:51 sprprtr	At the time I wondered how many people knew about
                              the history of such organising and whether they were
                              aware of its political background. Soon enough there
                              were groups such as Sisters Uncut and others who
                              flagged up the need to understand mutual aid as
                              "solidarity not charity"…something I am keen to
                              highlight and unpick in our conversation tonight.
      Jul 14 18:42:15 sprprtr	I was also wondering how this wave of amazing human
                              action for the benefit of others can and should be
                              supported through institutions of mutual aid.
                              What are these institutions? How can we set them up?
                              What knowledge and experience exists in the field?
                              And is there a way to sustain, support, encourage
                              (and dare I say reward!?) this kind of behaviour
                              long term?
      Jul 14 18:42:34 *	niccolo (45d79dec@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 18:42:51 sprprtr	The father of mutual aid, Peter Kropotkin helps us
                              analyse how forms of mutual aid occur in nature as
                              well as in human society over the ages. His essay
                              Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution (1902) offers
                              compelling evidence for careful scrutiny of present-day
                              organising (facilitated by digital technologies) and
                              allows room for imagining pathways for long-term
                              encouragement and change.
      Jul 14 18:42:53 *	Sila_ has quit ("Page closed")
      Jul 14 18:42:54 *	m---b_ is now known as m---b
      Jul 14 18:43:07 sprprtr	Charity, he says, "bears a character of inspiration
                              from above, and, accordingly, implies a certain
                              superiority of the giver upon the receiver." With
                              this he opens up an analysis of the power dynamic
                              in charitable exchanges.
      Jul 14 18:43:32 sprprtr	Whilst on the other hand, he proposes that "…it is
                              not love and not even sympathy upon which Society is
                              based in mankind. It is the conscience—be it only at
                              the stage of an instinct—of human solidarity. It is
                              the unconscious recognition of the force that is
                              borrowed by each man from the practice of mutual aid;
                              of the close dependency of every one's happiness upon
                              the happiness of all; and of the sense of j
      Jul 14 18:43:32 sprprtr	ustice, or equity, which brings the individual to
                              consider the rights of every other individual as equal
                              to his [her/their] own."
      Jul 14 18:44:10 sprprtr	Mutual aid, I believe, is perhaps the best way to
                              externalise our commitment to a life of dignity and
                              confront the "theatre of cruelty" that is contemporary
                              life. Common Bond Society is a commission that is set up
                              to contribute to this conversation.
      Jul 14 18:44:12 *	Luke73 (56bf3ae8@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 18:44:26 sprprtr	Taking the form of 'old school' IRC chat rooms, i.e.
                              channels, it reuses communication tools of the Internet
                              before web 2.0 to reboot citizens' information agora.
                              More broadly however, the  work aims to prompt discussion
                              about the platforms that have been in use to organisation
                              mutual aid, through which issues of privacy, safety
                              and power can find a space for reflection.
      Jul 14 18:44:28 *	lararara has quit (Ping timeout)
      Jul 14 18:44:49 Ruth	I think that this work sprung first from your observation
                            of new mutual aid practices with the pandemic right?
      Jul 14 18:45:22 sprprtr	oops!
      Jul 14 18:45:26 *	tech94 has quit (Ping timeout)
      Jul 14 18:45:31 Truce_	Nah, the pandemic on highlighted it
      Jul 14 18:45:46 sprprtr	all browsers quit!
      Jul 14 18:45:50 sprprtr	here we go
      Jul 14 18:45:52 sprprtr	The delayed beginning of the COVID-19 lock-down in
                              the UK brought about an amazing wave of community
                              organising, a sort of self-assembly for the protection
                              of self and others, a beautiful act of solidarity
                              where neighbours reached out to each other for help
                              and support. Mutual aid groups grew like mushrooms,
                              posters were plastered, chat groups and websites were
                              made, phones distributed, transportation found,
                              fundraisers
      Jul 14 18:45:52 sprprtr	organised, food prepared, medicines picked up and
                              delivered.
      Jul 14 18:46:04 cristina	(it's a browser strike)
      Jul 14 18:46:05 niccolo	It has occured to me during these times to reflect
                              about how helping has always been associated with
                              a condition of inferiority, subordination,
                              non-centrality - a very dominant, masculine and
                              white vision which is being challenged constantly
                              (and finally!)
      Jul 14 18:46:08 Ruth	Ok so this was the start
      Jul 14 18:47:23 Ruth	I think niccolo that you raise an issue that gets to
                            the heart of the matter for all our panellists
      Jul 14 18:47:39 *	lararara (4f4e19f7@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 18:47:50 *	acp_studio (5adc0924@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 18:48:01 Ruth	Please Camille, Cecillia, and Anastasia feel free to respond
      Jul 14 18:48:10 Anastasia	I think that you are right Niccolo
      Jul 14 18:48:11 *	breakwater (d920235b@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 18:48:34 Anastasia	mutual aid is associated with care - caring for
                                each other in a horizontal way and without hierarchies
      Jul 14 18:48:37 Camille	i wonder if the desire to help is "masc" though -
                              in that i think helping has been coded as
                              feminine / angel of the house / victorian era
      Jul 14 18:49:07 Anastasia	but care has always been associated with women,
                                and care work has nearly always been undertaken
                                by the working class
      Jul 14 18:49:10 Cecilia	Yes indeed Camille! Help = masc, Care = fem?
      Jul 14 18:49:22 Anastasia	so I think that it is valued much less in our culture
      Jul 14 18:49:54 niccolo	Yes Anastasia, totally.
      Jul 14 18:49:58 Cecilia	This notion of help is also wrapped up in a
                              paternalistic attitude towards 'the poor', the needy
      Jul 14 18:50:27 Camille	yes i agree that care has definitely been devalued
                              and degraded. but i think the helping ethic is also
                              feminisied - just a different class (middle class)
                              that help / do charity TO the working class
      Jul 14 18:50:36 *	nela has quit (Ping timeout)
      Jul 14 18:50:38 Lauren	my experience is thet it is nonetheless not at all
                              straightforward to really make mutual aid 'mutual',
                              how to get around the idea of some needing help and
                              some offering it creating 'charitable' dynamics?
      Jul 14 18:50:47 *	acpstudio has quit (Ping timeout)
      Jul 14 18:50:57 Lauren	(or could replace help with care)
      Jul 14 18:51:13 Cecilia	For me, potentially the (re)emergence of mutual aid
                              is indicative of a new wave of energy of changing
                              this idea of institutional, or institutionalised help
      Jul 14 18:51:35 Cecilia	disrupting the problematic dynamics of 'help from above'
      Jul 14 18:51:43 Anastasia	that's a great question Lauren, such projects often
                                start with the best intentions but these hierarchical
                                dynamics persist
      Jul 14 18:51:54 Lauren	it feels very connected to class privelege
      Jul 14 18:52:04 Camille	lauren - definitely agree that it is not always
                              obvious what separates charity from mutual aid -- i think
                              there is something in there about access and
                              pariticipation and POWER!
      Jul 14 18:52:28 Cecilia	@Camille Definitely agree about power!
      Jul 14 18:52:58 Lauren	the trouble / key is: how do people who have never
                              had power come to believe they have it?
      Jul 14 18:52:58 Camille	so there is something about can people take control
                              of the help that is being delivered
      Jul 14 18:53:04 Chelsea	I disagree Help should be unconditionally
      Jul 14 18:53:10 elisabeth	in mutual aid everyone has a stake
      Jul 14 18:53:13 Anastasia	this is something that we've been reflecting on
                                in our Covid-19 mutual aid group in the Shacklewell
                                ward - while it is based on the principles of mutual
                                aid and in a diverse borough, the organising
                                team is not as diverse
      Jul 14 18:53:37 Lauren	@Anastasia - exactly
      Jul 14 18:53:47 Cecilia	@Anastasia, absolutely agree, there might be some
                              participants who have more capacity
      Jul 14 18:53:50 Ruth	@anastasia why do you think this is?
      Jul 14 18:53:50 niccolo	i think charity is giving to those in need, generosity
                              is giving to others what you might not even
                              have enough for yourself. and mutual aid is when this
                              becomes a constant flow where all benefit from
                              contributing or from contributions.
      Jul 14 18:54:11 *	Suol (3e40cec6@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 18:54:34 Lauren	@niccolo - agreed! but it's not obvious for everyone
                              to feel they have something to give
      Jul 14 18:54:45 niccolo	totally Lauren
      Jul 14 18:54:46 Camille	i think the other element @niccolo is that mutual aid
                              is about trying to address the structural issues
                              that cause us to need solidarity in the first place
      Jul 14 18:54:46 Lauren	when society has long given them the message that they do not
      Jul 14 18:55:11 *	elisabeth (33c6595d@webchat.ircnet.net) has left
      Jul 14 18:55:12 Anastasia	@Ruth - I think that it has to do with various things:
                                time and availability during the pandemic,
                                confidence in undertaking organising roles (that relates
                                to class, race, and gender and previous experience)
      Jul 14 18:55:15 niccolo	yes Camille, grasping a sense of the framework gives
                              purpose to actions which otherwise might risk feeling menial
      Jul 14 18:55:35 *	elisabeth_ (33c6595d@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 18:55:40 Chelsea	I think the term mutual is misleading because people
                              might expect something in return
      Jul 14 18:55:44 niccolo	here in Chicago, since the beginning of COVID, I have
                              seen and been part almost spontaneously of chats and group
                              texts on Signal passing on information about where help is
                              needed and who needs it....some sort of intelligent
                              network of people sharing info, checking it, and then
                              with BLM, listening to police scaners, posting needs for
                              supplies, etc. Very simple, few pictures, short texts.
                              To focus on real needs we need a space devoid of dis
      Jul 14 18:55:45 Cecilia	@ Ruth @Anastasia - This is also the case when we look
                              at mutual credit systems, and their circulation,
      Jul 14 18:55:59 Chelsea	whereas aid should be always without expectations
      Jul 14 18:56:12 niccolo	yes Chelsea very true
      Jul 14 18:56:40 Camille	it also means that our organising of mutual aid isn't
                              just about maintain the status quo / but about building
                              the power to change it -- that is a key difference for me
      Jul 14 18:56:45 Ruth	@cecilia please say more about mutual credit systems
      Jul 14 18:56:48 Cecilia	thanks for joining us from Chicago @niccolo - amazing
                              culture and history of organising there!
      Jul 14 18:56:52 Anastasia	but also it has to do with the difficulty in bridging
                                divides, even within the same borough - people may be
                                dubious about mutual aid when they don't know how it
                                works or who runs it and prefer to rely on neighbours
                                that they already know or family
      Jul 14 18:57:22 Lauren	yes, @Anastasia - those issues of trust / suspicion are huge
      Jul 14 18:57:22 Camille	i think that is because of how deep the violence of
                              charity runs in the UK
      Jul 14 18:57:23 niccolo	yes Cecilia, learning every minute - also not having
                              ANY expectations of aid from public systems kinda makes
                              it inevitable :)
      Jul 14 18:57:25 Ruth	Yes @camille.
      Jul 14 18:58:02 Cecilia	@Anastasia @ Ruth the issue that often occurred in
                              mutual credit systems is that many people wanted to
                              participate and give their time/resources but actually
                              found it hard to receive! indicative also of the privileges
                              in understanding and accessing such systems
      Jul 14 18:58:19 cristina	in former Soviet countries, aid is associated with
                                clear power hierarchies. for me, the word "mutual"
                                dispels these associations
      Jul 14 18:58:28 Chelsea	@Cecilia great point
      Jul 14 18:58:29 cristina	(receiving aid from the West)
      Jul 14 18:58:35 Anastasia	@Niccolo I think that you raise an important issue
                                regarding state help...in the
      Jul 14 18:59:02 Truce_	Why is relying on neighbours and family/friends not
                              considered as mutual aid?
      Jul 14 18:59:46 Camille	i think the points about how uncomfortable "receiving help"
                              is / how bound up with power such exchanges are / really
                              is at the heart of what separates charity from mutual aid
      Jul 14 18:59:47 *	Harry_ (c24b1776@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 18:59:55 Cecilia	@Cristina. yep! anyone know the activists No White Saviors?
                              https://www.instagram.com/nowhitesaviors
      Jul 14 19:00:10 Lauren	@truce - is it something about a specific form of s
                              olidarity developed under specific circumstances? Which
                              then builds capacities that didn't exist otherwise?
      Jul 14 19:00:15 niccolo	Mutual is related to words as "mutation" too, from
                              Latin "mutare" which means to change. It took on a
                              meaning of "exchange" only when it began being the
                              descriptive word the banking system used to describe
                              physical exchange of goods rather than currency. but
                              the word can still mean that something is done expecting
                              that something "changes" in return.
      Jul 14 19:00:19 Lauren	@Cecilia - they are BAD ASS
      Jul 14 19:00:19 *	Luke73 has quit (Ping timeout)
      Jul 14 19:00:32 Cecilia	:-)
      Jul 14 19:00:41 Anastasia	to continue the point about state aid, you see the
                                differences between the US and the UK, with the popularity
                                here of the NHS first  responders scheme (that mirrors
                                the trust towards the NHS)
      Jul 14 19:00:45 niccolo	no who are the No White Saviors?
      Jul 14 19:00:46 Harry_	Do you think true mutual aid only happens when we
                              are in survival mode?
      Jul 14 19:00:49 cristina	@Cecilia, didn't know them before, thanks!
      Jul 14 19:01:08 Camille	@truce i think it can be mutual aid - but there need
                              to be more to relations than helping each other out
      Jul 14 19:01:24 Anastasia	@Truce - it is mutual aid, but it meant that people
                                didn't trust the mutual aid groups in the area if they
                                didn't know anyone who was involved in the group
      Jul 14 19:01:31 niccolo	@Harry - i think it only begins massively when we are
                              in survival mode, but it doesn't need survival mode to
                              keep existing
      Jul 14 19:01:40 Cecilia	No White Saviors doing some AMAZING work addressing
                              this question of 'white saviorism', unpacking intentions
                              behind 'international development' and 'aid'
      Jul 14 19:02:16 niccolo	@Cecilia oh boy, can I say something about the "white
                              saviors" wrecking BLM protests here?...
      Jul 14 19:02:17 Camille	yeah i agree i think crisis / disasters / emergencies
                              are overwhelmingly the driver behind mutual aid efforts
      Jul 14 19:02:30 niccolo	@cecilia you touch such a true point here
      Jul 14 19:02:30 Cecilia	@niccolo LOL
      Jul 14 19:03:10 Anastasia	I agree that crises are catalysts - the book 'Paradise
                                Built in Hell' by Rebecca Solnit is a key resource here
      Jul 14 19:03:11 Cecilia	@camille yes but also there is a submerged history of
                              different mutual aid groups, thinking about how migrants
                              support one another
      Jul 14 19:03:35 Cecilia	@Anastasia yes ! good shout on that!!
      Jul 14 19:03:45 Ruth	@cecilia do you think white saviourism is prevalent in
                            current Mutual Aid work
      Jul 14 19:04:12 Camille	totally - but i think the crisis of the border / crisis
                              of racism / being pushed to the margins of the labour
                              market produce the conditions for why so many migrant
                              communities develop mutual aid networks
      Jul 14 19:04:24 Cecilia	agree
      Jul 14 19:04:36 *	Suol has quit (Ping timeout)
      Jul 14 19:04:45 Cecilia	here's one i prepared earlier :-) mutual aid organisations
                              (usually supporting people from specific countries
                              or ethnicities) have historically assisted new arrivals
                              to find work and get settled, including fighting racial
                              inequality - my parents would have drawn on the expertise
                              of clan associations when they arrived from China to
                              Singapore, and again, they tapped into a network of
                              fellow Singaporeans when they came to the UK.
      Jul 14 19:04:58 Ruth	;)
      Jul 14 19:04:59 Harry_	Do you think that mutual aid is inherently a selfish
                              act if its origins come from the idea of survival
      Jul 14 19:05:36 niccolo	@harry it can't be selfish because you can't mutually
                              aid yourself, you need at least another person, right?
      Jul 14 19:05:41 *	Bergit has quit (Ping timeout)
      Jul 14 19:05:42 Chelsea	Aid in itself is mostly selfish
      Jul 14 19:05:58 Harry_	That's right!! But the reasoning behind the aid giving
                              I mean
      Jul 14 19:06:16 Anastasia	@Harry no I don't think so - that is if it is related
                                to the survival of the collective or the group - and
                                what crises and catastrophes show you is the interdependency,
                                how you need a group of people in order to survive
      Jul 14 19:06:20 sprprtr	Harry_ it depends on the underlying intention
      Jul 14 19:06:24 niccolo	@harry it depends if you are helping others the way
                              they want to be helped or the way you want to help them
      Jul 14 19:06:28 Cecilia	not necessarily, makes me think about Fred Moten/Stefano
                              Harney Undercommons, and how they describe debt...
                              bonds that bond us together... how debt makes the
                              community in some messed up way as well
      Jul 14 19:07:17 Anastasia	@Cecilia - yes, it is a first step at creating bonds,
                                once that mesh is in place one can think about the
                                types of bonds and power dynamics
      Jul 14 19:07:18 Camille	@harry what makes you think it is selfish?
      Jul 14 19:07:42 *	Bergit_ (5b7dfbbc@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 19:07:56 Harry_	That we all ultimately have the same goal to survive
                              @camille
      Jul 14 19:08:05 Harry_	And that goal is selfish
      Jul 14 19:08:08 Lauren	I wonder whether we have to attach a negative value
                              to the preservation of self (selfishness) if that is
                              done with others not at their expense?
      Jul 14 19:08:31 Harry_	Thats a good point Lauren...
      Jul 14 19:08:35 Cecilia	agree^^
      Jul 14 19:08:39 Anastasia	agree
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      Jul 14 19:09:08 Camille	yeah i agree with @lauren i think it is important to
                              be able to claim the desire to live / to survive and
                              for others to as well
      Jul 14 19:09:32 Lauren	This is where the class dynamics are complicated in
                              current mutual aid tho - not everyone is really "in the
                              same boat" in relation to survival
      Jul 14 19:09:38 Camille	selfishness is doing that at others expense / getting
                              ahead while others starve etc
      Jul 14 19:09:42 *	Tech94 (522e7851@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 19:09:55 Camille	i wanted to come back to bons
      Jul 14 19:09:59 Camille	*bonds
      Jul 14 19:10:01 niccolo	@harry for sure aid, since it addresses a need/scarcity,
                              can influence the aided profoundly so there is "power"
                              in aid which needs to be protected from abuse and
                              mystification. but that's true with many things, I
                              think the interesting part here is more how do you
                              manage the flow of distribution of aid and participation
                              so that selfishness is structurally excluded.
      Jul 14 19:10:09 Ruth	yes@camille?
      Jul 14 19:10:13 Chelsea	@Camille that's not true selfishness is also helping
                              because it makes you fee good
      Jul 14 19:11:01 jesfernie	Hello all! I'm interested in something Cecilia said
                                earlier about mutual aid as an attempt to deal with
                                the structural issues that cause us to need solidarity.
                                ie mutual aid as a way to confront / deconstruct
                                capitalism and its use of bodies and exchanges as
                                a form of currency.
      Jul 14 19:11:19 Ruth	Good point @Lauren - made so much more starkly obvious
                            with the pandemic
      Jul 14 19:11:26 Harry_	I agree with you again Lauren...within the capitalist
                              system we don't come from the same a mutual starting
                              place
      Jul 14 19:11:30 Chelsea	@niccolo not possible to structural exclude selfishness
      Jul 14 19:11:48 *	Luke73 (56bf3ae8@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 19:12:05 Anastasia	@Chelsea - true but we cannot expect people's
                                motivations to be true. I think that we shouldn't
                                only be focusing on the intentions underlying the
                                act but also on the results. What if I help someone
                                because I want to survive myself and it makes me
                                feel good - but through the act of caring I then
                                develop bonds of care and empathy with others and
                                help in the survival of the group?
      Jul 14 19:12:06 niccolo	@chelsea I think technology in a way has already
                              experimented structures that can solve these issues.
      Jul 14 19:12:35 Camille	because i am not sure i think we need bonds to exist
                              before mutual aid is possible. i think certain
                              crises - say like an earthquake / big flood / the
                              mega fires in australia / strip away the existing
                              barriers and social relations that keep us from working
                              together.
      Jul 14 19:12:52 Anastasia	I think that focusing too much on this kind of
                                guilt is another problem of White Saviourism - if
                                you are in survival mode, there is no luxury for
                                that kind of questioning
      Jul 14 19:13:02 Cecilia	agree
      Jul 14 19:13:03 niccolo	exactly
      Jul 14 19:13:10 Chelsea	@nicoolo interesting care to explain which tech structures
                              do that
      Jul 14 19:13:11 sprprtr	+1
      Jul 14 19:13:12 Cecilia	we can learn a lot from disability justice movement
      Jul 14 19:13:24 Cecilia	i wanted to share a quote from Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha,
                              who wrote Care Work - Dreaming Disability Justice.
                              "I want us to dream mutual aid in our post-apocalyptic
                              revolutionary societies where everyone gets to access
                              many kinds of care"
      Jul 14 19:13:25 Lauren	@Cecilia absolutely
      Jul 14 19:13:56 Lauren	the way disability justice really makes use of the
                              capacities individuals do and don't have is super
                              relevant
      Jul 14 19:14:00 Chelsea	@Cecilia beautiful
      Jul 14 19:14:15 Anastasia	@Cecilia that's a great quote
      Jul 14 19:14:25 Cecilia	YES! building capacities when we don't have the spoons
                              (spoon theory)
      Jul 14 19:14:57 Cecilia	spoon theory = Christine Miserandino
      Jul 14 19:15:13 Anastasia	and it points to another reason reason of why I
                                like to focus on mutual aid - its emphasis is on
                                what happens when we win,
      Jul 14 19:15:28 Ruth	 :)
      Jul 14 19:15:33 Lauren	yes - and knowing that there's a sort of general store
                              of spoons that you give and take from freely and as you
                              need - tho Leah does point out that sometimes there
                              are imbalances
      Jul 14 19:15:39 Cecilia	@Anastasia - what do you mean by win?
      Jul 14 19:16:06 Camille	i think one problem we have with the coming period -
                              is that ecological crisis is going to mean winning
                              will come with a lot more issues
      Jul 14 19:16:08 Anastasia	what I mean is that a lot of social movement work
                                focuses on critique, on overthrowing what's already
                                there
      Jul 14 19:16:30 Anastasia	but not on what happens once we have managed to
                                revolt and overthrow, what do we build then?
      Jul 14 19:16:33 Cecilia	@Lauren yes definitely and how we navigate between
                              us when the imbalances become overwhelming
      Jul 14 19:16:40 Chelsea	There is no winning in mutual aid
      Jul 14 19:16:55 niccolo	what I'm seeing here in Chicago is somewhat similar
                              to how SETI ran its distributed memory network years
                              ago. Issues get "broken down" in packets, and you
                              depending on the time and resources you have you get
                              to work on one or multiple "packets", knowing that
                              the chain will work 99% of times. This reduces the
                              thinking and maximises the acting, which works great
                              for survival mode.
      Jul 14 19:17:09 niccolo	much like the Internet Protocol
      Jul 14 19:17:14 *	Uk (5284ea36@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 19:17:18 sprprtr	:-)
      Jul 14 19:17:34 Camille	i think the reference to winning is refers to quote
                              above "post-apocalyptic revolutionary societies"
      Jul 14 19:17:38 Cecilia	@niccolo - true!
      Jul 14 19:17:46 *	Tech94 has quit (Ping timeout)
      Jul 14 19:18:10 niccolo	so I am sketical that selfishenss cannot be structurally
                              excluded - maybe not entirely but it can totally be
                              minimised or reduced
      Jul 14 19:18:38 Anastasia	@Camille - agreed! @Lauren- also agreed - there
                                is no winning in mutual aid.
      Jul 14 19:18:48 Cecilia	agree ^^
      Jul 14 19:19:07 Camille	@chelsea i dont think anyone was referring to mutual
                              aid as "winning" etc. it is part of the counter
                              power / forms of infrastructure / ways of organising
                              / ecology of care that means we can win though!
      Jul 14 19:19:11 Chelsea	@niccolo totally agree
      Jul 14 19:19:51 *	Luke73 has quit (Ping timeout)
      Jul 14 19:19:59 niccolo	@anastasia yes maybe because it's not about winning,
                              it's about being here, existing without fearing for
                              ourselves all the time. this winning/losing mentality
                              is exactly what brings tons of white protesters to
                              do whatever they want with BLM marches because they
                              think "they're not confronting police enough"
      Jul 14 19:20:14 Lauren	@niccolo can you say more about the 'packets'? in what
                              context are things broken down and what kinds of things?
      Jul 14 19:20:16 Cecilia	@camille, maybe mutual aid IS a core part of that
                              building anew?
      Jul 14 19:20:22 niccolo	ok @Lauren
      Jul 14 19:20:28 niccolo	here's an example
      Jul 14 19:20:51 Camille	i think the work of Silvia Federici is also really
                              useful here - when she asked " how do we need to organise
                              to create healthy self-sustaining movements?" and i
                              think mutual aid / she would point to the politics of
                              social reproduction specifically is part of the answer
                              to that question
      Jul 14 19:21:14 Chelsea	@Camille I think that is a very wrong thought. alone
                              the idea that mutual aid is counter power is thought
                              from a point of privilege that is very wrong and not
                              even remotely true for other cultures
      Jul 14 19:21:15 Cecilia	totally!! ^^
      Jul 14 19:21:23 PJ	But don't you think mutual aid has a lot to do with access
                          and having the privilege and know how to access it ?
                          Doesn't it have to do with education and understanding
                          of these themes? And with that can it be that often having
                          that education means we come from a place of privilege?
      Jul 14 19:21:33 Cecilia	oops.. i will come back to that 'totally'!!
      Jul 14 19:22:44 Anastasia	@Camille @Cecilia - I think it is and this is what
                                I meant by 'what happens when we win' (which I realise
                                it's easy to be misinterpreted) - it's the  focus on
                                the structures that we'd like to build rather than
                                placing emphasis on the antagonism with structures
                                that we'd like to overthrow. Of course, we cannot
                                disregard the latter, but building power means that
                                we need to let our imagination roam free beyond
                                the dominant frameworks. When
      Jul 14 19:22:45 niccolo	every day since June in Chicago there is always more
                              than one single protest happening, so that Police cannot
                              possible concentrate all its forces on one group. what
                              happens is, every protest gets broken down in two main
                              areas: frontline and backline. then frontline si broken
                              down into food, supplies, secutiry, cleaning, filming,
                              marching, car support and jail support. each one of
                              these becomes a chat on Signal and you sign in our
                              out of i
      Jul 14 19:23:01 Chelsea	@PJ I totally agree just take the idea of mutual aid
                              to a poverty driven community in Africa
      Jul 14 19:23:02 Anastasia	... structures we struggle with our imagination is
                                captured by them
      Jul 14 19:23:16 niccolo	notified about say "water needed at Western /Belmont
                              precint for arrested folks who are getting out" "tampons
                              nneded at Homan Square"
      Jul 14 19:23:24 Camille	hmmm. i am not sure i understand what you are disagreeing
                              with? that mutual aid is a form of counter - power?
                              for me counter power is about building alternatives
      Jul 14 19:23:27 niccolo	the same happens with unemployed people
      Jul 14 19:23:34 niccolo	entire neighborhoods
      Jul 14 19:23:59 niccolo	so basically if it's 2 pm and you have a free hour
                              you can always find something to do that will make the
                              relay continue
      Jul 14 19:24:08 niccolo	all safe from authorities
      Jul 14 19:24:28 Lauren	@niccolo WOW!
      Jul 14 19:24:34 Harry_	I am also unsure if you can say that mutual aid is
                              an act that only happens from a place of privelege
      Jul 14 19:24:35 Chelsea	counter power in its name is a didactical error when
                              brought up along the lines of mutual aid
      Jul 14 19:25:01 Anastasia	@Chelsea what do you mean by that?
      Jul 14 19:25:07 niccolo	@lauren when you add on top networks like Nextdoor
                              or Citizen (which are full of Karens going nuts too but
                              you get to know stuff) you have a full circle
      Jul 14 19:25:15 Camille	sorry - i dont understand what that means? wanna try
                              saying it with less jargon
      Jul 14 19:26:02 *	iannes has quit (Ping timeout)
      Jul 14 19:26:09 Lauren	@niccolo - is that quite localised or city-wide? Does
                              it interface with other mutual aid network activities?
      Jul 14 19:26:29 Lauren	And are the mutual aid groups networked with each other?
      Jul 14 19:26:36 niccolo	e.g. ICE is starting a "citizen academy" program to
                              train neighbors in arresting us (immigrants) in chicago
                              and we knew it weeks before the press did cz there are
                              lawyers as well as janitors in the chats. you wouldn't
                              have a chance to infiltrate something like that without
                              this "blind" network.
      Jul 14 19:26:40 Camille	so maybe it would be interesting useful to put some
                              examples of mutual aid - beyond the excellent examples
                              from niccolo
      Jul 14 19:26:49 Ruth	Further to Camille's point - let's try to use as little
                            jargon as possible
      Jul 14 19:26:49 niccolo	@lauren i can speak for chicago, I am not sure they
                              have the same going on in Brooklyn for instance
      Jul 14 19:27:03 Chelsea	Is there a curator? so many questions get ignored
      Jul 14 19:27:19 niccolo	but it clicks where it needs and keeps information
                              away from unwanted lurkers (e.g. white priders
                              interceoting chats and coming to town with baseball
                              bats)
      Jul 14 19:27:32 Camille	yes there is a curators - @ruth
      Jul 14 19:27:37 Lauren	@niccolo - how do you keep those folks out?
      Jul 14 19:28:00 Cecilia	i think there are many different practices and ways
                              of being that might not be 'called' mutual aid, but
                              in fact are....
      Jul 14 19:28:16 *	acp_studio has quit (Ping timeout)
      Jul 14 19:28:47 niccolo	@lauren you kind of know the audience of each social
                              network, like you would never post info on facebook
                              for instance. and then the Signal chats add people
                              manually so you kind of feel safe.
      Jul 14 19:29:00 Ruth	Hi @chelsea
      Jul 14 19:29:15 niccolo	@lauren some info gets boosted on twitter or insta,
                              but it's like 5% of the info you find on Signal.
      Jul 14 19:29:21 UP_Projects	If you have just joined: Welcome to "Mutual Aid
                                  in the time of Uncertainty" hosted as part of
                                  Common Bond Society by Larisa Blazic and commissioned
                                  by UP Projects. Tonight’s agenda items: 1. Now:
                                  Mutual aid in   the age of uncertainty 2. Next:
                                  Mutual aid beyond moments of crisis  We are
                                  discussing the role mutual aid  has played in the
                                  context of the current Covid-19 pandemic and
                                  considering how we can harness mutual aid tactics t
      Jul 14 19:29:28 Ruth	Thanks for noticing unanswered questions. The conversation
                            is so lively that I fear some questions may have been lost
      Jul 14 19:29:31 Lauren	gotcha - making use of the echo chamber effect for good!
      Jul 14 19:29:47 Ruth	Please can people repost any important questions that
                            have gone unanswered
      Jul 14 19:30:18 Chelsea	@ruth its fine, its still very good
      Jul 14 19:30:21 PJ	Don't you think mutual aid has a lot to do with access
                          and having the privilege and know how to access it ? Doesn't
                          it have to do with education and understanding of these
                          themes? And with that can it be that often having that
                          education means we come from a place of privilege?
      Jul 14 19:30:35 niccolo	@lauren yes, that and "protocolling" is key and I'm
                              loving it (expect getting 500 notifications at night,
                              next time i forget my phone off silent i'll be single
                              again i fear)
      Jul 14 19:30:40 Anastasia	@Niccolo this is a very interesting case study of
                                decentralised organising but... it's worth noting
                                the power of administrators of Signal and Whatsapp
                                groups. If there is no rotation they end up becoming
                                unofficial leaders
      Jul 14 19:30:54 niccolo	there is rotation absolutely
      Jul 14 19:31:04 niccolo	totally Anastaia, that's key
      Jul 14 19:31:12 Ruth	Also thanks for posting the agenda Upprojects
      Jul 14 19:31:34 Lauren	@niccolo - what's 'protocolling'?
      Jul 14 19:31:34 *	iannes (92c68398@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 19:31:40 Ruth	Perhaps it would be nice for people to think about what
                            we can take from past and existing mutual aid practices...
      Jul 14 19:31:42 Camille	@PJ i think the notion of privilege and access are
                              key to the concept of charity - but that mutual aid
                              is precisely working to undo those power relations.
      Jul 14 19:32:09 niccolo	@lauren the way i call this "breaking down of tasks
                              into packets" like the TCP/IP internet protocol that
                              brings us all together here now
      Jul 14 19:32:10 Ruth	and think about what we need to take forward immediately
      Jul 14 19:32:14 Ruth	and into the future
      Jul 14 19:32:16 Anastasia	@PJ very good question. Yes I agree. This is what
                                I was implying in a previous point about people's
                                mistrust of mutual aid groups - they don't know what
                                they are or what they stand for and prefer not to
                                get involved bur rely on other networks of care
                                (families etc.)
      Jul 14 19:32:24 Lauren	I think PJ makes a good point that mutual aid may
                              intend to undo those relations but it's not as accessible
                              as some like to think
      Jul 14 19:32:24 PJ	Mutual aid in itself is a term that won't be very accessible
                          to people though.
      Jul 14 19:32:34 Cecilia	agree PJ
      Jul 14 19:32:54 PJ	Even mutual aid groups, if you don't have the education
                          or the access then it will be hard to organise yourself
      Jul 14 19:33:02 Cecilia	there are probably loads of activities, practices
                              that one *could* call mutual aid, but those participamts
                              might not call it so!!
      Jul 14 19:33:02 Lauren	@niccolo - got it, thx!
      Jul 14 19:33:04 niccolo	@ruth my partisan gandmother used to tell me how they
                              did information and aid relays back then
      Jul 14 19:33:21 Camille	but i dont think we would call everything that is mutual
                              aid "mutual aid" --- we might call it a food pantry
                              / or a housing board etc
      Jul 14 19:33:27 Harry_	Thats what I think Cecilia - people will be practicing
                              mutual aid without knowing it
      Jul 14 19:33:32 Anastasia	@PJ and @Cecilia absolutely true
      Jul 14 19:33:36 PJ	in many ways I find the term quite isolating and i wonder
                          if there are ways of organising that is more inclusive to
                          people
      Jul 14 19:33:42 Chelsea	 @PJ very true
      Jul 14 19:33:47 Harry_	Interesting Camille what is the definition then
      Jul 14 19:33:53 Lauren	there are lots of groups that have found other names
      Jul 14 19:33:57 Ruth	@niccolo what is it particularly about the aid information
                            relays that we can carry forward
      Jul 14 19:33:58 Lauren	for that reason
      Jul 14 19:34:03 PJ	what structures would we need to make it more accessible,
                          how can we organise in ways that makes it more open?
      Jul 14 19:34:06 Ruth	censorship resistance?
      Jul 14 19:34:20 Cecilia	@PJ @Chelsea, especially now since the term 'sharing'
                              has been contaminated :-0
      Jul 14 19:34:26 Lauren	@PJ - I think the fact so much of it has unfolded
                              online is a significant barrier
      Jul 14 19:34:42 Anastasia	@PJ on the one hand, I agree, on the other, I'm
                                not sure I'd like us to use a different term without
                                the anarchist connotations of mutual aid... But perhaps
                                I'm being too conservative!
      Jul 14 19:34:57 Camille	i live in a conservative tory area rural area of england...
      Jul 14 19:34:59 PJ	100% but in a time post corona, how else can we organise?
      Jul 14 19:35:09 PJ	I would be interested to hear your thoughts?
      Jul 14 19:35:14 niccolo	@ruth when she carried a message, she always had only
                              half of a piece of a note that someone else gave her.
                              so she couldn't possibly hijack it and if she was
                              caught she could fake it and she wouldn't know too much.
      Jul 14 19:35:27 Cecilia	notices in our shared buildings and spaces :-)
      Jul 14 19:35:28 *	jesfernie has quit (Ping timeout)
      Jul 14 19:35:29 niccolo	@ruth the person she'd meet would have the other matching
                              ripped half
      Jul 14 19:35:36 niccolo	and then they'd disapprear
      Jul 14 19:35:38 Chelsea	why would mutual aid have an anarchy connotation -
                              that is quite the opposite from what it should be
      Jul 14 19:36:11 Anastasia	@niccolo, this is fascinating. There are so many
                                accounts of the use of digital media for organising,
                                but much less about the use of media in past for
                                internal organising purposes (speaking as an academic
                                research this now)
      Jul 14 19:36:24 Ruth	So we have a surveillance-proof communication network
      Jul 14 19:36:31 Cecilia	YES!!
      Jul 14 19:36:51 niccolo	@anastasia if that is what you research I have a trove
                              of these things, passed on down by my old folks who ended
                              up (or almost did) in concentration camp
      Jul 14 19:36:53 Cecilia	which in itself is a currency!
      Jul 14 19:37:11 Cecilia	sorry... i meant @ ruth :-0
      Jul 14 19:37:38 Cecilia	(tmany messages crossing over) #irclife
      Jul 14 19:37:49 Camille	@chelsea i think the notion of anarchy / anarchist
                              organising here is referring to building power outside
                              of the state / self-organisation of the working class
                              etc
      Jul 14 19:37:52 Ruth	But still the question is whether Mutual Aid as a concept
                            contains in its bones a sense of resistance against
                            oppression
      Jul 14 19:38:18 Ruth	that carries widely
      Jul 14 19:38:23 Anastasia	@PJ we've been struggling with this in our mutual
                                aid group. The most recent development is to do some
                                outreach with local organisations, such as
                                Tenant/residents associations and perhaps to go
                                door-to-door and ask people what they are involved
                                in and how they are addressing the needs of our community
                                (i.e. trying to go outside the bubble of our group
                                but not from a position of power, 'we're here to help
                                you' mentality)
      Jul 14 19:38:30 Lauren	@ruth - yes, that's key. I think the answer is yes,
                              and yet we need to be attentive to where those bones
                              can be layered with oppressive flesh
      Jul 14 19:38:37 Chelsea	well I think you need to look dee into the term anarchy
                              in history before using it...this is not a fad
      Jul 14 19:38:39 Emma_	How does mutual aid manifest when we are not fighting
                            for survival?
      Jul 14 19:38:47 iannes	@ruth It does but there is a danger that the current
                              wave of 'mutual aid' (largely organised by white middle
                              classes) overshadows, even colonizes, a much longer
                              history of mutual aid-type activity, that was never called
                              'mutual aid' within black and working class communities.
      Jul 14 19:39:15 Chelsea	I am with @Emma and think we should move to her topic
      Jul 14 19:39:18 elisabeth_	@emma good question.
      Jul 14 19:39:19 Cecilia	@iannes yes!
      Jul 14 19:39:20 Lauren	@Anastasia - that kind of shoe-leather work is key,
                              and hard to motivate people to do...
      Jul 14 19:39:38 Ruth	@iannes I would like to hear what @camille things
      Jul 14 19:39:46 Harry_	@Emma_ agreed that is what is interesting
      Jul 14 19:39:52 Camille	@emma i think many communities would say that they
                              are pretty much constantly fighting for survival
      Jul 14 19:39:53 Anastasia	@Lauren yes and it is frightening, because it truly
                                means stepping out of your bubble
      Jul 14 19:40:13 Ruth	Yes @Camille
      Jul 14 19:40:14 Chelsea	Can we go back to @Emma
      Jul 14 19:40:17 iannes	@Camille Eshe Kiama Zuri: "There is a cause for concern
                              when groups claim mutual aid and community support
                              whilst being run and populated by white and middle-class
                              people, landlords, police officers, local councillors
                              and those pushing state agendas – participating in racism,
                              diffusing radical organising and removing and a lack
                              of access for 'undesirable' vulnerable people. When
                              you see a mass movement that only comes into existence
      Jul 14 19:40:33 Lauren	@iannes I'm glad you referenced her
      Jul 14 19:40:35 PJ	@Camilie, do you think that post corona this wave of mutual
                          aid will stay as active as it is now?
      Jul 14 19:40:36 iannes	society start needing support, then there is really
                              something to question."
      Jul 14 19:40:41 Anastasia	@Emma following up on @Camille's point, we could
                                enlarge the meaning of survival and urgency
      Jul 14 19:40:57 elisabeth_	On the back of @Emma's question about survival
                                  of mutual iad groups, there was a comment earlier
                                  on in the chat when it was suggested that if people
                                  in the community don't know about mutual aid, it
                                  means that mutual aid groups are not trusted.
                                  Sorry to paraphrase but that was an interesting
                                  point worth unpicking
      Jul 14 19:41:00 Chelsea	@Iannes tottally
      Jul 14 19:41:22 PJ	I think trust is super important!
      Jul 14 19:41:32 Harry_	I think you are right @camille but what the pandemic
                              did was bring about a collective mode of survival
      Jul 14 19:41:36 Anastasia	the climate change movement has recently been more
                                successful in doing exactly that, so we are in survival
                                mode as a species
      Jul 14 19:41:37 PJ	How can we maintain and build trust online in our current
                          context?
      Jul 14 19:41:45 PJ	is that even possible ?
      Jul 14 19:41:59 Cecilia	yes and there are issues about visibility that i would
                              like to pick up - how can it be safe for people to be
                              visible, trust one another IRL?
      Jul 14 19:42:18 Camille	for sure i think there is a hell of lot of organising -
                              going under the name of "mutual aid" that looks more
                              like state management / charity / church work / aid etc.
      Jul 14 19:42:23 Camille	but that is beside the point
      Jul 14 19:42:28 Ruth	@elisabeth_ you make a good point - to talk about the
                            use of the idea of "mutual aid" is not just a theoretical
                            stick - it is about what we can do with it because of how
                            people understand it and can therefore use it
      Jul 14 19:42:41 Anastasia	@PJ I think that common work is crucial when it comes
                                to building trust online - the experience of working
                                with each other addresses some of the issues of online
                                trust-building
      Jul 14 19:42:52 Lauren	@Cecilia that's a good question - there's something
                              about all this online communication that makes stereotyping
                              much less of an issue
      Jul 14 19:42:58 Camille	in that there is much organising that claims to be
                              feminist that is anything but - as another example
      Jul 14 19:43:32 Lauren	@Camille - where I am the council are trying to 'support'
                              mutual aid
      Jul 14 19:43:37 sprprtr	Anastasia +1
      Jul 14 19:43:39 Cecilia	@Lauren @Camille agree with you both. its complex
                              though, there are different types of access IRL/online
      Jul 14 19:43:47 Lauren	I am worried its a co-option
      Jul 14 19:43:48 *	jk (4f435f18@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 19:43:55 Camille	@lauren yes i have heard a lot of instances of that --
      Jul 14 19:43:56 PJ	I also think the online involvement has shown us a lot
                          about confidence. There is something easier and more
                          accessible about accessing mutual aid online. I think
                          often especially when we are working on an approach that
                          is non-hierarchical how do people gain that confidence
                          to offer help but also to receive it?
      Jul 14 19:44:07 Camille	also the demand that people have police checks etc
      Jul 14 19:44:37 elisabeth_	@PJ good point, personally I would love to learn
                                  more about that as well as ideas of visibility
                                  and trust.
      Jul 14 19:44:51 Ruth	Can we talk more about the problems of co-optation @camille
      Jul 14 19:44:52 Chelsea	@PJ very true that although in other cultures this
                              is not the case it might be a Western World problem
      Jul 14 19:45:06 WonderWhy72	I think the issue of time is also key - people
                                  are weary of committing for a long period of time,
                                  or with no "end of contract" in sight
      Jul 14 19:45:19 Camille	i think the point about the current context is that
                              Covid-19 is a test run for what is coming in terms of
                              the ecological crisis - so yes cooption is very much
                              something we need to think abotu
      Jul 14 19:45:21 PJ	@chelsea in what way? interested to hear your thoughts?
      Jul 14 19:45:33 Chelsea	In other cultures we share food free from hierarchies
                              and whoever sits down at the table even if we don't
                              have enough
      Jul 14 19:45:38 Chelsea	as an example
      Jul 14 19:45:50 Anastasia	@PJ but the digital divide is still in play, there
                                were people who found it difficult to ask help on
                                Whatsapp for instance. For mutual aid groups operating
                                a standard phoneline was crucial. And at times, we
                                had to help with requests relating to technology
      Jul 14 19:46:00 Cecilia	i think the police checks brings up aagain this super
                              important point - about safety. if mutual aid activity is
                              coopted by institutions then who does it lock out...
      Jul 14 19:46:02 Lauren	@Camille - I have experienced interactions where it
                              appears the council expects mutual aid to fill holes
                              left by austerity
      Jul 14 19:46:12 iannes	Alan Lane of Slung Low in Leeds has written excellently
                              about co-option.
      Jul 14 19:46:24 Lauren	puts me in mind of 'big society'.... how do we avoid
                              that logic??
      Jul 14 19:46:41 Cecilia	@Lauren @camille i was just about to say that!!
      Jul 14 19:46:42 Anastasia	@Camille @Lauren this is a danger and more of a risk
                                now as local authorities will be losing revenue
      Jul 14 19:46:44 PJ	@good point! is the difference then our systemic structures
                          and do you think mutual aid and it's political act can
                          play a role in changing these
      Jul 14 19:47:05 Camille	yes i think after 10 years of austerity and withdrawal
                              of the state - the question of how we organise ourselves
                              going forward.
      Jul 14 19:47:12 Ruth	Good question @PJ
      Jul 14 19:47:16 Camille	i am thinking here about food banks
      Jul 14 19:47:17 Ruth	gets to the heart
      Jul 14 19:47:17 WonderWhy72	From a long time perspective - the role of the
                                  state in providing aid is only very recent. As
                                  human beings we have it in our genes to support
                                  each other for survival.
      Jul 14 19:47:42 iannes	https://alanlaneblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/28/
                              blogpost-10-weeks-of-social-care-referrals-and-
                              keeping-promises/
      Jul 14 19:47:50 Ruth	Thanks @iannes!
      Jul 14 19:47:52 Chelsea	@PJ its a cultural issue a name alone won't change
                              the game it will be a long process of relearning trust
      Jul 14 19:48:12 Lauren	There's a decent amount of funding flowing to mutual
                              aid - I can't work out if that is positive redistribution
                              or co-option
      Jul 14 19:48:24 Anastasia	@Lauren me neither...
      Jul 14 19:48:31 Cecilia	@Chelsea yes which is difficult as covid has been a
                              time of even more heightened fear
      Jul 14 19:48:33 Lauren	Probably a bit of both!?
      Jul 14 19:48:36 Anastasia	both things could be true though!
      Jul 14 19:49:12 Cecilia	@Lauren @Anastasia yes agree, and that's where political
                              aspect of mutual aid remains important
      Jul 14 19:49:13 Ruth	I'm still not sure we have answered the question about
                            whether...
      Jul 14 19:49:14 Anastasia	in terms of trust, working within the locality and
                                with immediate neighbours seems to lessen the fear
                                about one's safety
      Jul 14 19:49:26 Lauren	@Cecilia - so how to define / maintain that politics?
      Jul 14 19:49:32 Ruth	mutual aid practices can  inform the way we interact
                            moving forward?
      Jul 14 19:49:41 Lauren	esp when they might not align with the politics of
                              all participants in the group
      Jul 14 19:49:56 Ruth	Good question @lauren
      Jul 14 19:50:01 PJ	@ruth exactly that!
      Jul 14 19:50:06 Emma_	@ruth thanks - yes this would be interesting to discuss
      Jul 14 19:50:08 Anastasia	and this is another interesting tension/dynamic
                                between mutual aid and state - the scale. Mutual
                                aid operates as a hyperlocal network with interconnected
                                localities
      Jul 14 19:50:17 Chelsea	again mutual aid should be unconditional of all politics
                              religious beliefs or what not
      Jul 14 19:50:45 Chelsea	it should and can not ever stand AGAINST anything
                              otherwise it would not be an aid
      Jul 14 19:50:46 Camille	i dont agree with that at all: i dont want to work with
                              fascists for example
      Jul 14 19:50:47 Harry_	I would love to hear more from the panellists about
                              how we can move forward - how can the spirit of mutual
                              aid remain post Covid
      Jul 14 19:50:48 Cecilia	do you think that circling back to the 'care' helps
                              us think about this? i've been really interested in
                              care as a political act
      Jul 14 19:51:32 Chelsea	Yes Harry me to
      Jul 14 19:51:42 WonderWhy72	me too
      Jul 14 19:51:45 iannes	me too
      Jul 14 19:51:58 Emma_	yes please
      Jul 14 19:52:03 Ruth	We have 10 minutes left - and it would be great to hear
                            from the panel now about what the future of mutual aid
                            might be harnessed
      Jul 14 19:52:10 PJ	Me too, how can we move forward into tomorrow?
      Jul 14 19:52:46 Cecilia	for me (as someone who ahem didn't participate in
                              mutual aid group during covid), i'm on the long tail...
      Jul 14 19:52:47 Camille	moving forward for me means bringing into the frame
                              ecological crises that will and are already producing the
                              need for mutual aid/ the pandemic has been a case study.
                              but not all crisis will take the same shape.
      Jul 14 19:52:47 Ruth	and how might we create organisational systems to aid
                            the way we live and interact in the future?
      Jul 14 19:53:34 Lauren	@Ruth - do you mean organisational or organising systems?
      Jul 14 19:53:35 Camille	i think mutual aid is most powerful and useful when
                              it is located in place / and that we need to develop
                              ways of overcoming the alienation of online organising
      Jul 14 19:53:51 Ruth	Both @Lauren
      Jul 14 19:53:56 Ruth	Systems of organising
      Jul 14 19:54:07 Ruth	and organisational infrastructures
      Jul 14 19:54:15 Cecilia	this moment (BLM, covid, environmenal crisis) has
                              helped to resurface new energy in organising as an
                              activity
      Jul 14 19:54:30 PJ	@Camille how do you think that could manifest if people
                          can't meet in person though?
      Jul 14 19:54:51 Anastasia	one concrete way of moving forward is to use the
                                mutual aid networks that have been created to focus
                                on broader issues of survival in the community -
                                the coronavirus crisis will be followed by a deep
                                economic crisis and issues of housing, unemployment
                                etc. We also need to focus on survival in terms of
                                the ecological crises. And finally, we can always
                                reflect and correct/develop the networks that we
                                have already created to address their
      Jul 14 19:55:21 Camille	^ agree - we have to be prepared and interested in
                                making mistakes. fail again fail better
      Jul 14 19:55:28 niccolo	on my end I can only suggest to try organising the
                              way BLM or COVID support networks are organised here:
                              it's very smooth and takcles many of the issues you've
                              raised today
      Jul 14 19:55:32 Cecilia	within my part of the cultural/arts sector, there is
                              a renewed desire to come together, put forward calls
                              for action and support one another collectively
      Jul 14 19:55:37 elisabeth_	great point @Anastasia
      Jul 14 19:55:49 Ruth	Agreed @Cecilia
      Jul 14 19:56:18 Lauren	Agreed @Cecilia - collectivity as an antidote to
                              institutional power
      Jul 14 19:56:29 iannes	@Camille this is XR thinking, not everyone can afford
                              to be interested in making mistakes
      Jul 14 19:56:30 Ruth	Its time to wrap up  :(
      Jul 14 19:56:36 Ruth	I would like to thank you all for your participation,
                            co-operation and ideas this evening! For those of you
                            who know people who were unable to attend the event today,
                            this conversation has been recorded and archived and will
                            be available to view from the end of this week within
                            this IRC chat room.
      Jul 14 19:56:41 Cecilia	.... this is especially so for communities of colour,
                              disabled folk, LGBTQI+ folk, working class folk...
                              even when there might not be enough spoons!!
      Jul 14 19:56:47 Camille	everyone makes mistakes
      Jul 14 19:56:53 PJ	@iannes ^agreed
      Jul 14 19:56:53 Camille	thinking that you dont is dangerous
      Jul 14 19:57:08 Ruth	I encourage you all now to explore Common Bond Society
                            further.  Take a look at the other chat rooms available
                            to you, use these IRC rooms to facilitate conversations
                            you may wish to be having that may not be possible IRL
                            at the moment, read the resources available and…my personal
                            favourite...
      Jul 14 19:57:28 Chelsea	@ruth and @up project thank you for the great experience
      Jul 14 19:57:31 Ruth	Interact with the Kropotkin bot in the chat room Mutual
                            aid, it’s a political practice. Type in specific words
                            to discover key quotes from Mutual Aid: A Factor of
                            Evolution and learn more about the origins of mutual aid.
                            There will also be a second event associated with Common
                            Bond Society on 18 August that will take place in the
                            In this place of safety chatroom that will facilitate
                            a conversation around notions of safety with in the digi
      Jul 14 19:57:57 *	niccolo_ (45d79dec@webchat.ircnet.net) has joined
      Jul 14 19:58:03 niccolo_	ouch my connection froze sorry
      Jul 14 19:58:07 Ruth	I would like to thank our participants this evening:
                            Larisa Blazic
                            Camille Barbagallo
                            Anastasia Kavada
                            Cecilia Wee
      Jul 14 19:58:18 Cecilia	*clap emoji
      Jul 14 19:58:31 Ruth	And all of the amazing participants who joined to make
                            this such a lively and wide ranging discussion
      Jul 14 19:58:32 niccolo_	bravi!!!!
      Jul 14 19:58:40 Cecilia	thanks @Ruth @lara @UPProjects
      Jul 14 19:58:43 iannes	Will the transcript be available?
      Jul 14 19:58:46 Ruth	And thank you to UP Projects for commissioning this
                            artwork and convening the event tonight.   I hope these
                            discussions can and will continue.  Thank you!
                            And good night!
      Jul 14 19:58:47 niccolo_	clap! clap!
      Jul 14 19:58:48 sprprtr	I had a blast - thank you Ruth, Anastasia Camille and
                              Ceilia - thank you all
      Jul 14 19:58:50 Emma_	Thank you to you @Ruth and all the panelists!
      Jul 14 19:58:51 sprprtr	yes!
      Jul 14 19:58:52 Anastasia	thank you @Ruth for chairing @Up_projects and Lara
                                for organising and to all of you for such thought-provoking
                                questions and comments.
      Jul 14 19:58:57 iannes	Thank you!
      Jul 14 19:59:01 Camille	cheers
      Jul 14 19:59:02 cristina	Thank you all, great discussion!
      Jul 14 19:59:08 ssd	Thank you; lots to read up on from today
      Jul 14 19:59:13 UP_Projects	Thank you @Ruth
      Jul 14 19:59:14 niccolo_	amazing yes!
      Jul 14 19:59:16 sprprtr	i will keep the log and upload it to the archive page
                              in the bnext few days
      Jul 14 19:59:17 m---b	thanks so much !
      Jul 14 19:59:17 niccolo_	thanks ruth
      Jul 14 19:59:18 Ruth	Everyone can of course stick around to keep chatting
      Jul 14 19:59:20 Lauren	thanks alllllll
      Jul 14 19:59:28 Lauren	brilliant stuff
      Jul 14 19:59:29 *	niccolo has quit (Ping timeout)
      Jul 14 19:59:32 Lauren	Well done LARA!
      Jul 14 19:59:32 Cecilia	phew! managed to type :-)
      Jul 14 19:59:41 sprprtr	:-)
      Jul 14 19:59:45 Anastasia	:-)
      Jul 14 19:59:45 Ruth	Lara before we all head off....
      Jul 14 19:59:51 *	debhack28 has quit (Ping timeout)
      Jul 14 19:59:51 sprprtr	Yes
      Jul 14 19:59:53 sprprtr	?
      Jul 14 19:59:57 Ruth	please can you tell us about the film in the background?
      Jul 14 19:59:59 elisabeth_	Thank you all!
      Jul 14 19:59:59 Cecilia	thanks for the good conversation all!!
      Jul 14 20:00:09 sprprtr	aaahh, the film in the background
      Jul 14 20:00:17 niccolo_	aaah Coronet films :)
      Jul 14 20:00:22 sprprtr	found it on archive.org
      Jul 14 20:00:25 niccolo_	they were made her ein chciago
      Jul 14 20:00:29 niccolo_	here
      Jul 14 20:00:37 Ruth	ah amazing @niccolo
      Jul 14 20:00:38 *	irini has quit ("Page closed")
      Jul 14 20:00:40 niccolo_	god bless the internet archive
      Jul 14 20:00:45 Ruth	amen!
      Jul 14 20:00:50 sprprtr	it is an instructional film on how to learn cooperation
      Jul 14 20:00:51 Cecilia	yay for chicago!!
      Jul 14 20:00:58 niccolo_	you should watch the "dating do's and don't s one too"
      Jul 14 20:01:04 niccolo_	it's wacko
      Jul 14 20:01:20 sprprtr	Thank you all! Take care!
      Jul 14 20:01:40 niccolo_	@sprprtr thank you for using their films, i was so
                                moved when i first cam eto this work
      Jul 14 20:01:46 niccolo_	i like gasped lol
      Jul 14 20:02:00 Anastasia	and I have to say, I have new appreciation of IRC
                                chat now :-)
      Jul 14 20:02:17 niccolo_	this and IRC got me sold on the first second lol
      Jul 14 20:02:29 niccolo_	we really need tools that minimize distraction like
                                these
      Jul 14 20:02:30 Cecilia	haven't done IRC since 1998 LOL
      Jul 14 20:02:34 Ruth	: D
      Jul 14 20:02:42 *	Uk has quit (Ping timeout)
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      Jul 14 20:03:48 *	WonderWhy72 has quit (Ping timeout)
      Jul 14 20:04:00 niccolo_	ciao ciao from Chi-town!
      Jul 14 20:04:17 *	iannes has quit ("Page closed")
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      Jul 14 20:05:02 Camille	night everyone
      Jul 14 20:05:09 *	Truce_ has quit ("Page closed")
      Jul 14 20:05:14 UP_Projects	Thank you to everyone for coming!
      Jul 14 20:05:15 sprprtr	night Camille
      Jul 14 20:05:16 *	ssd has quit (Ping timeout)
      Jul 14 20:05:20 Ruth	good night!
      Jul 14 20:05:23 Cecilia	night all!
      Jul 14 20:05:26 Anastasia	bye all!
      Jul 14 20:05:28 *	RecorderBot has quit (Ping timeout)
      Jul 14 20:05:30 niccolo_	good night!
      Jul 14 20:05:30 Ruth	xxx
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      Jul 14 20:06:40 sprprtr	xxx
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      Jul 14 20:40:14 ahadzi	nighty night
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      Jul 15 07:39:33 *	Disconnected ()

      **** ENDING LOGGING AT Wed Jul 15 07:39:33 2020
    

In this place of safety


Join the conversation:

This chat room is an open platform to facilitate conversations around notions of safety within the digital realm, uncertainty and public space.

A curated conversation
Date: 18 August 2020
Time: 18:30-20:00 BST

Agenda:
1.The Virtual Sphere and Beyond: Live Interview between Siddharth Khajuria and Zizi Papacharissi
2. Fostering, Claiming and Sustaining the Existence of Public Sphere's Online

Join us for a live IRC chat about the civic and political potential of the digital realm and a discussion on the possibilities of public sphere's online.


Code of conduct.

"Practicing mutual aid is the surest means
for giving each other and to all the greatest safety,
the best guarantee of existence and progress,
bodily, intellectual and moral."
Peter Kropotkin
Mutual Aid, A Factor of Evolution

For more information about the project please click here.

Credits
Kropotkin botkin using RealTime Configurable IRC ChatBot by Logan Lee.
All Kropotkin botkin quotes from 'Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution', retrieved from Project Gutenberg.
Mutual Aid, it's political practice IRC chat modified Kiwi IRC by
Dennis de Bel and hosted by Varia.
Solidarity not charity page uses an embebed IRC webchat qwebirc.
In this pace of safety page uses an embeded IRC webchat CGI:IRC.
How To Get Cooperation,video found on Archive.org.

Special thanks to
Ruth Catlow
Cecilia Wee
Camille Barbagallo
Anastasia Kavada
Varia Centre for Everyday Technology for their help with Kiwi IRC webclient
James Stevens
Moira Lascelles
Lili-Maxx Hager

All work released under copyleft licenses
that mirror the licenses used in various
parts of this website.

Disclaimer
The opinions expressed in these messages
are the participants own and do not reflect
the views of Larisa Blazic, UP Projects,
or Arts Council England. Because community
standards vary and individuals sometimes
may upload content considered
inappropriate, you may be exposed to content
that you find offensive or objectionable.
Audiences are encouraged to bring any material
they deem offensive or objectionable to the
attention of UP Projects by emailing us at
info@upprojects.com identifying the specific
material they considered objectionable.

Common Bond Society by Larisa Blazic was commisioned by UP Projects for This is Public Space.

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