Four activists met online to exchange their thoughts from everyday activism in their collectives. Emphasizing solidarity and mutual support, and addressing systemic inequalities and patterns we unintentionally reproduce, this discussion highlights the importance of fostering healing amidst adversity, abandoning the mindset of scarcity and competition, and co-creating self-reflexive and caring spaces and solidarity-based mechanisms at all levels of our society.

These activists are: Yosh, feminist activist, ex-head of Feminist Workshop (Ukraine), Alla Solod, coordinator in Feminist Workshop (Ukraine), Laura Schiavone and Antonella Amadei, activists of Municipio Sociale Làbas (Italy).

Yosh highlighted the value of collective processes on different levels:

“When we speak about collective processes, first of all, we acknowledge the value of some collective – either it is our activist group, our friends, or family, community of our neighborhood, city, or broader – our nation,” she said.

Yosh also said that in context of Russian war against Ukraine she expects people in Europe to answer a question: “Do I belong to people who are supporting aggression or do I belong to people who will lose when the aggressor wins?” She also criticized the disconnect between theoretical activism and practical collective care that she has seen among Russian activists.

Alla emphasized recognizing the humanity of those affected by war, noting, “To recognize that in front of you is a human, it is not only a part of some political debate.”

She stressed the community’s responsibility to support war-traumatized individuals, highlighting that cities are often unprepared to accommodate people with war-related injuries, such as amputations. She pointed out that for these individuals to be included in the city, they must be able to move around it, underscoring the necessity for accessible infrastructure. Alla further stressed that communities must actively acknowledge the returning individuals, understand their needs, and propose appropriate help, stating, “There will be no recovery for civilians until there’s war.”

Laura Schiavone discussed the necessity of mutual support to build the future and stay connected to material realities. She is convinced of necessity to go beyond your comfortable bubble, where it is easier to create relations and culture you wish to have:

“There’s different power structures in different locations and you have to interact with them. It’s very important for us that you have to interact, because the tendency is to create a happy bubble where you live, which in long run doesn’t lead to collective care”.

She observed also that political organizations often forget their roots in specific neighborhoods, which should inform their actions and directions. “One of the tendencies, especially with this kind of political organizations in Italy, is to forget that they are located in a specific neighborhood and that should really determine the way in which they act and the direction they take,” she explained. 

Antonella Amadei reinforced that autonomy is interdependent.

“Autonomy is not an independence, but autonomy relies on interdependence,” she stated.

She distinguished mutual support from charity, emphasizing that it should be built together. “The core of mutual support is that it is not imposed on the receiver, but it’s built together, and it is not a charity,” Antonella explained. 

She stressed the importance of clear communication and trust, advocating for constructive and caring criticism. “Trust cannot exist if we don’t tell each other what is working and what is not working, especially what is not working,” activist noted. Antonella emphasized the need to address systemic inequalities and patterns reproduced within activism, encouraging collective self-reflection and care to ensure that actions align with the needs of local communities: 

“We are inevitably influenced by power structures we live in. And in this sense, it is everyone’s responsibility to point out when it happens,” she added.

These discussions highlight the activists’ commitment to fostering healing amidst adversity, abandoning a mindset of scarcity and competition, and creating self-reflexive, caring spaces and solidarity-based mechanisms. They advocate for practical, community-focused actions that address immediate needs while challenging systemic issues and promoting genuine solidarity.

During the event, everyone was invited to draw traditional Ukrainian Easter attributes. The collage was created by Victoria Cherniakhivska based on these works. 

We invite you to watch the conversation here:  https://youtu.be/Cu9Vs6RZeCc

 

 

 

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