Every last Sunday of the month the Varia Library and the Rotterdam Electronica Depot hold Read & Repair events. Due to current circumstances, most of them have been in an online format. We invite you to visit our online space, make yourself comfortable, read or repair some things together, and share thoughts and ideas.
In 2021 our Read & Repair sessions will be paired, we will take two months to explore one theme. During August and September 2021, we will be exploring the theme Digital Solidarity. In a time where everything points to the further consolidation and accelerated normalization of the Big Tech industry (Zoom, Facebook groups, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Skype, etc.), we need collective digital alternative practices. How can we develop mutual aid strategies and social closeness through alternative digital infrastructures in times of physical distancing, remote working or care giving?
This theme was inspired by the collective work on the Digital Solidarity Networks pad by multiple people among which Manetta Berends, Lídia Pereira, Julia Bende, Jara Rocha and Cristina Cochior; and by existing feminist autonomous networks who make digital solidarity their work. Some of these networks are mentioned on the pad.
The text selection for Read in August was made by Cristina Cochior. Cristina is a researcher and designer who often collaborates in different constellations on digital infrastructures and tools for knowledge production & organisation. Her work revolves around the intimate bureaucracy of information organisation systems, affective interfaces and community networks with particular attention to their materiality and the politics that become embedded in them. She is a tutor in Hacking at the Willem de Kooning Academie and a Varia member.
Together we will be reading chat transcripts of conversations around solidarity, mutual aid and self-organised care practices, speculative fiction written by activists and texts describing how computational infrastructures create patterns for social forms (Berlant, 2016). In the spirit of public domain audiobook communities, we will try to make an audio recording of one of the readings.
We will read fragments of:
- Solidarity, not Charity, a curated conversation with Ruth Catlow, Larisa Blazic, Camille Barbagallo, Anastasia Kavada and Cecilia Wee about practices of mutual aid play in times of uncertainty. Organised by Common Bond Society.
- Evidence by Alexis Pauline Gumbs. From the book Octavia's Brood.
- Chapter 3, The Mechanics of Improvised Relations by Abdoumaliq Simone. From the book Rhythms of Endurance in an Urban South.
Date: Sunday, 29th August 2021
Time: 19:00-21:00 CEST
NOTE: This reading session will be held in English.
The next theme we'll be looking at in 2021 is Community Memory.
Read is alternatively guided by a Varia Library group member, the following Read (in the next month) is guided by a guest. Both sessions revolve around the same theme, with different texts and methods to read them. The guest Read session is accompanied a Repair session. The Repair session is a practical exploration of the same theme, led by a guest or a Rotterdam Eletronica Depot member. It is an active workshop you can experiment with at home, and one day in our Depot, when we can physically gather.
Our January-November 2021 programme is funded by Gemeente Rotterdam.