Over the past couple of months, the world has gone through such drastic shifts that I, for one, would never have thought possible. Who would have known, that the world could come to a halt in a couple of months, a couple of weeks, in fact?! Not because of wars or climate change but a virus, and not even a fancy, airborne kind that one would have read about in a sci-fi novel. Not that wars stopped being fought, or the climate stopped going down the toilet. All of that is still happening.
In a recent blog, Swarna Rajagopalan spoke about how the pandemic is essentially showing us a mirror to our society – showing us how the inequalities, inequities, violence, wars, conflicts, crimes against humanity in general, women in particular, class division, disregard of civil liberties, climate denial is still happening.
I totally, irrevocably agree. This virus, through quarantines and lockdowns, has shown us- very-very starkly, vividly, in a bright screaming red, how our global societies are failing-how truly, deeply embedded these inequalities in our lives and society are. And the need to find solutions or make sustainable change, or to think about global, inclusive, diverse solutions is as urgent as ever. We have clearly seen that the glass slipper of the global crisis management system does not fit all. Those without access to drinking water, or homes, or private bathrooms cannot practice physical distancing, to give you one example.
This brings me to why am I even writing this blog or this rant, – you can call it that, if you’d like. We at G@W are starting a new blog series. I know, I know, it sounds strange after my earth-shattering, painting the skies red kind of an introduction-however, that’s essentially why we are starting this blog series. A lot of us at G@W have been feeling what I have been feeling, or different versions of it. We have all been massively concerned, reflecting on what can be changed and done and trying to do that – provide support from our individual ends however we can, plan for the world post- COVID and learn how to support each other.
That’s the good thing about G@W, and that’s also wherein our privilege lies. With the lucky half of humanity, that has the option, we are also self-quarantining. And when feminists and feminist activists self-quarantine, that apparently, from very recent experience means that we talk, find ways of expressing solidarity, read poetry together, through webinars and without those, work at finding solutions as best as we can, provide grassroots support wherever, whenever we can and more importantly stand by each other.
We are also gravely, painfully aware of new, atypical changes that humans and our planet are going through: the horrible deaths of migrant workers on the way back home to their families, the immense death toll of the pandemic and the negotiations and rapidly changing state laws it causes. On the other hand, people are screaming at the top of their voices about their need for haircuts, expressing their desire for a return to ‘normality’, while the world economies are plundering and poverty is on route to reaching an all-time high. With poverty on the rise, so is the need for sustainable social change.
This blog series titled, ‘One Day in the Life of’ is one of our ways to reflect and to bring to you and to us, voices and experiences of people, from different parts of the world. We are trying to learn how the folks we work with are experiencing this global pandemic, what are they learning, what their lived realities are. We believe that only when we know more and learn more, will we be able to prepare ourselves for what’s coming. And, to be honest, I believe that there is a kind of solidarity in reading, and knowing that we are all in the same storm, albeit in very different boats.
For an anecdote, and in unrelated news- I recently got married (cheers from the back!). However, the day after I got married, we had to travel to separate countries and have been stuck apart for the last few months. Don’t worry, though! This is giving me some major classic ‘love-story’ material!
Literary inspirations aside, this period has been fraught with uncertainty, longing, sorrow, and at the same time, a deep sense of guilt at my personal privilege. My feminist friendships, solidarities, reflections are helping me pave through and work toward trying to support solutions for the problems we are all in, individually and collectively.
The fact is that life right now is pretty daunting, and to ease the day, or provide solutions, or even to reflect on one’s privilege or lack thereof, we hope to bring to you experiences, maybe glimpses of daily routines, of different people-activists, grassroots workers, a mother, a father, a person, a feminist, a fellow, a caregiver, a leader, a woman fasting, or maybe, if we are all lucky, a woman in love! ☺