Charlotte Godziewski By: Charlotte Godziewski
Lecturer in Sociology and Policy
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07 May 2020 : Recalibrate my hopes

There is so much I've been meaning to write about this crisis, but so far everytime I tried, I couldn't put anything down on paper. Thinking about covid confronts me with the magnitude - not just of the pandemic - but of all the failures of our political systems. All that which links together the major ills of the anthropocene, all these connections invade my thoughts and leave me feeling deeply powerless, angry and sad. Covid really puts a spotlight on just how man-made, how political, human suffering is. Ok, this wording sounds extremely dramatic, but so is the situation! 

So far I'd been avoiding the news (especially covid news) and that was ok, it was good for my mental health. I was trying to find stillness, to focus my gaze inwards with yoga and meditation. It's really helpful. Yesterday I was talking to my sister on the phone, and she lamented how apparently Germany is now considering incentivising car purchases in an effort to help a struggling automotive industry in the wake of the pandemic. "What a missed opportunity to do something better, more sustainable", she said. OF COURSE that's what's being done. It's so predictable. There's really no way to collectively learn anything, is there? I didn't want to engage simply because it's too deeply depressing: I cannot think of even one single piece of information like the one on the car industry, without spiralling down into overwhelming feelings of anger at capitalist patriarchy.

But I think the time has come to organise my thoughts and express myself a bit more. Reading the last edition of Ecofeminism, by Maria Mies and Vandana Shiva (2014) is helping. It reminds me that I'm not alone, that so many people feel the same way as I do. So many of us can absolutely see these connections between patriarchal capitalism and global crises, and many even know how to convincingly articulate them (without feeling paralysed and overwhelmed like I do). If the situation seems hopeless, maybe I need to recalibrate my hopes, I ended up telling my sister.

I need to find out how to be critical without losing hope.


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