Unease, confusion, and a precarious equilibrium between hope and despair. We acknowledge the need to start bringing more care into academia – something we tend to put aside as if care belongs to our personal lives only.
We acknowledge our worldviews and biases while we observe the extraordinary barrage of opinions arising from this new horizon. We think this crisis represents the acceleration and transformation of patterns and contradictions that have built up over decades of neoliberal projects for an increasingly unsustainable socio-economic model. The same patterns now raising potentially dystopian promises for a post-pandemic future.
Although it is too early to see where this crisis will lead us, we acknowledge the key role played by social sciences in exploring intellectually the realm of possibilities, opening dialogues across disciplines and voices. We acknowledge that Covid-19 pandemic cannot be understood out of an interdisciplinary approach, because we cannot separate fields of knowledge without causing multiple crises and long term damage.
The starting point is engaging in discussion aiming at reframing our questions, much more than providing answers (and certainly before attempting to do so). We feel that by shifting the questions, we may change the way we frame this crisis. If anything, to prepare for a window of opportunity?
We all struggle with the cognitive dissonance generated by our work (and sometimes lives): tasks that appear distant from the here-and-now of the crisis, to-do lists that seem impermeable to pandemic shocks. We are determined to turn this around. We feel the need to write for the public discussion, not (just) for our peers, not just for the sake of saying something (outreach work, work as activists, action/engaged research and similar practices). We should raise our voice out there, and cooperate on concrete processes and practical tips, help in our local community.
… and our future
We are taking these challenging times as a call to reflect and possibly reframe our research agendas on urban transition. Watch this space, with us!